"He was out there," Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon said. "Did you see him?"
Cinco Ocho is Papelbon's alter ego on the mound, and he did the job in a 1-0 victory over the Pirates. Papelbon threw 10 fastballs -- nine for strikes -- getting one strikeout and two groundouts to convert his first save for the Phillies after spending the last six seasons as the Red Sox closer. He dominated as the Phillies expected when they signed him to a four-year, $50 million contract in November.
"I think it's going to be fun for me to come and shut the door for this staff," Papelbon said. "That's the reason I came here. Hopefully we feed off that for the rest of the year."
Roy Halladay pitched beautifully Thursday, allowing just two hits and striking out five in eight innings. But having not thrown more than 88 pitches in Spring Training, the Phillies knew they wanted Papelbon to pitch the ninth.
"I'm usually doing my routine and trying to get locked in when that call happens," Papelbon said. "When that call happens, you kind of throw everything out the window and you just go to compete. That's really it."
Said Halladay: "He's typical [of closers], I guess. They're all a little odd, but in their own way. I've never seen two of them alike. They don't really fit the mold. He's going to be a good addition to us. All you want is for a guy to go out and compete when he gets the ball, and he obviously does that."