Last night, Papelbon earned his first six-out save of the season in Boston’s 8-4 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays, extricating the Sox from a bases-loaded quandary in the eighth inning and then slamming the door in a dominating ninth. He struck out three, pumping fastballs for strikes and never straying from his standard operation.
Paps is having an unreal season, even when seemingly taking the "bend, don't break" approach to closing games. But watching last night you saw why the guy has never given up an ER in the playoffs (and let me tell you, Francona is treating this like a playoff series). Baseball is a beautiful game, especially when the majority of the cogs seemingly come together at the same time.
6.5 games back with 31 to play, 3 of them at home against the Yanks. Take a look at the schedule:
- 13 of the Sox games are against Cleveland, Kansas City and Baltimore;
- 15 of the Sox games are at home;
- The Yanks still have a West Coast trip to play LAA and SEA, with a day off on September 24th in Boston;
- Boston has days off on the 10th and 14th, so they will play NYY in their 11th straight game without an off day, but having been at home;