PITTSBURGH — Jonathan Papelbon dropped a little surprise during today’s All-Star interview sessions in Pittsburgh when he said he doesn’t expect to pitch in tomorrow night’s All-Star Game.
“I probably won’t throw,” he said. “Because I’ve thrown so many (pitches) the past four days that Theo and those guys, Terry Francona, were hesitant about me throwing. I may throw one out, if that, but probably not.”
Asked if he’d be disappointed, he said: “Probably not. I’m happy to be here. For me, I think, it’s more important for me to get ready to take home this second half of the season and be ready for my ballclub back in Boston to help them make a World Series run. I think that’s what it’s all about, making a run to get back to the playoffs and make that World Series run. Obviously, the fans want me to pitch, but there’s next year.”
Papelbon has made 40 appearances for the Red Sox this season, and has pitched in back-to-back games eight times this season, including three times in which he appeared in three successive games. But in saving Saturday’s Red Sox win over the White Sox, and blowing a save in Sunday’s 19-inning loss, Papelbon threw more pitches (52) in consecutive games than he has all season. He threw 23 in 1 1/3 innings Saturday, and 29 in two innings Sunday. That’s more pitches than he threw any of the three times he went three straight games: 39, 44, and 42.
Papelbon said there was some discussion about him going another inning after the Sox took a 5-3 lead in the top of the 11th. Instead, Francona went to Javier Lopez and Mike Timlin, and the White Sox tied the score in the bottom of the 11th.
“Francona probably would have liked me to go out for another inning, but he knew he’d pushed it to the limit so they just shut me down,” Papelbon said.