Couple things.#4 interests me a lot. If the Red Sox believe Papelbon is likely to become a free agent after 2011 (and ask for more $ than the team believes it should pay for a 31-year-old closer), would they start overworking him?
1) The gun reads what they want it to read on some nights, first hand knowledge and experience of that:)
2) Paps has much less fast ball command this year than in years past, it happens.
3) His split is less consistent this year, not getting the drop as much. That happens to as your middle finger tends to 'bow' towards your pinky the longer you throw the pitch, eventually (at least for me) requiring a grip change to get consistent action. Mine was caused by the dreaded finger moving while at the same time arm speed dropping due to labrum tear. Arm speed = #1 pre-req for split movement.
4) I wouldn't be surprised to see the Pap rules start to change if the team does in fact envision him moving on. Why protect an asset you will not control?
5) I'd still take him as my closer over anyone other than Mo or Nathan.
brimac noted that Papelbon has allowed 1.36 baserunners per inning this season. He then offered a "scattered sampling" of other closers and their BR/IP (stats do not include last night):
brimac included HBP in his totals; that's why this 1.36 number is slightly higher than Bot's 1.31 WHIP.Nathan 0.81