PHILADELPHIA -- Use the closer or not?
The Phillies suffered consecutive walk-off losses this past weekend against the Pirates at PNC Park. The Phils kept Jonathan Papelbon in the bullpen both times. Some fans have asked why the Phillies would not pitch him, but the answer is simple: Charlie Manuel, Larry Bowa and every other current and former manager over the past 30 years prefer to pitch their closers in save situations.
Phillies pitching coach Rich Dubee said he considered pitching Papelbon in Saturday's 2-1 loss to the Pirates in 10 innings, but only because Papelbon had warmed up twice already and Dubee did not want to continue it.
(Remember Brad Lidge warming up numerous times during the 2008 All-Star Game. Not good.)
"How many times am I going to crank Pap up?" Dubee said.
Of course, the Phillies could have used Papelbon with two outs in the eighth inning in Sunday's 5-4 loss. They had a lead, so it would have been a save situation.
"It's a little early," Dubee said. "You want me to run him out there 162 games?"
Papelbon has pitched more than an inning in a save situation 39 times in his career. He has pitched one or fewer innings in a save situation 210 times.
Papelbon is 2-1 with a 2.09 ERA and 31 saves (79.5 percent) when he pitches more than an inning. He is 2-11 with a 2.52 ERA and 189 saves (90 percent) when he pitches one or fewer innings.
Papelbon pitched the ninth inning in Monday's 6-2 loss to Miami. He entered to Alice in Chains' "Man in the Box." He had used Dropkick Murphys' "Shipping Up to Boston" with the Red Sox.