Sox manager Terry Francona said this afternoon that Jonathan Papelbon was scheduled to take the mound for the resumption of Friday’s rain-suspended game. But Francona noted that the Sox closer was not at the park because he was at the bedside of his pregnant wife, Ashley, who went into labor earlier in the day and was ready at any moment to deliver the couple’s second child.
Maybe Papelbon should go by a different handle now. Perhaps, Papa Pap would be appropriate.
“Pap’s still in the game,” Francona said, who indicated Daniel Bard was on ready alert if Papelbon was unable to take the mound.
“I don’t know if that umbilical cord is going to reach to the mound,” Francona added, jokingly, “so we’re sort of at the mercy of [the baby’s arrival], so we’ll see.”
Papelbon issued a two-out walk to Carlos Pena in the ninth inning before striking out B.J. Upton on a 94-mile-per-hour fastball.
The rains came and the game was delayed at 10:21 p.m. before it was officially suspended at 11:24 p.m. It is to be resumed at 7:10 p.m. tonight, with David Ortiz due up at the plate.
Francona said he was not inclined to force Papelbon to make a decision between his family or his job. “That’s a tough call to make,” Francona said. “You know, `Let’s go, Pap, pick it up,’ so we’re sort of … we’ll see. If Pap’s available, he’ll pitch, if not Bard will pitch.”
Told that Pete Rose, when he was managing, would not have had any trouble taking a hard-line approach, Francona smiled.
“Well, we’re going to do it a little differently.” With a baby on the way, “It’s a little bigger,” he said.
Francona also indicated that center fielder Mike Cameron, who sat out Friday night after passing a kidney stone earlier in the day, would be available to play tonight’s second game. Cameron would also be available if needed in the event the resumption of Friday night’s game went into extra innings.