Who can believe what we just saw? The Nats had a 5-2 lead going into the 7th inning and the game turned quickly as Gio Gonzalez pitched the bottom of the 7th with a pitch count of 96 and Gio quickly gave up double to put the Nats in a spot and Dusty Baker brought in Treinen who gave up an infield single that was deflected as the run scored to make it a 5-3 lead. Felipe Rivero gave up a run in the 8th to make it a 5-4 game. The Nationals got back a run in the top of the 9th to make it 6-4.
Dusty Baker brought in Jonathan Papelbon who you could quickly see did not look right.
Papelbon averaged only 90.9 mph tonight on his fastball. He had nothing on it. Papelbon’s velocity had dropped 3.1 mph from Friday to tonight.
Here is what Papelbon looked like on Friday night:
We now have to worry if Papelbon is injured. Dusty Baker did not pull Papelbon even though he had Oliver Perez and Shawn Kelley both ready. You could see Papelbon wasn’t right as he walked the leadoff batter. The Indians went to the pinch-hitter Tyler Naquin who is left-handed. Still, Dusty wouldn’t pull Papelbon as he could have countered with Oliver Perez. Papelbon got Naquin in an 0-2 count, but Naquin drove an RBI double into the gap to make the score 6-5 and Naquin represented the tying run on 2nd and still Dusty wouldn’t pull Papelbon. On a sacrifice bunt to Zimmerman, he threw the ball down the rightfield line and Naquin scored the tying run.
By the way, Dusty Baker eventually pulled Papelbon with bases loaded and no outs and the score tied. It didn’t get better after that as the Indians walked it off for a 7-6 win.
“He doesn’t have his command…is evident when he walks the lead-off hitter,” Dusty acknowledged that after the game about Papelbon. If Dusty knew that, why didn’t he pull him immediately? Both Oliver Perez and Shawn Kelley were ready to come into the game.