Friday, May 05, 2006

How Do I Love Thee? Let Me Count the Ways

After that unfortunate loss on Wednesday night against Toronto, closer-for-now Jonathan Papelbon got back into form in game 2 of the series, earning his 11th save in as many chances. (Contrary to what one co-worker believes, the loss was not a blown save, since he came into a tie game.) There are so many reasons to love this guy, so let's start with the baseball reasons.

    Games: 16
    Innings: 17
    Hits: 11
    Runs: 1
    Walks: 2
    Strikeouts: 17
    Ground Ball Outs: 15
    Fly Ball Outs: 21
    Earned Run Average: 0.53
    Walks + Hits per Inning Pitched: 0.76
    Batting Average Against: .183
    Average Pitches per Batter: 5
The man has nerves of steel, performing as steadily against the Yankees or Blue Jays as he does against the Devil Rays or Mariners. "Ice water in his veins" is how they describe it. He doesn't get rattled in front of the crazed home fans or the hostile road fans. Even after giving up his first run of the season on three singles, he left it behind and embarked on a new streak of shutout ball. Nobody's perfect, so why should he worry? Any pitcher would love to have 14 stellar outings out of every 15.

Then there are the non-baseball reasons we heart Jonathan.

He does that nice leaning thing when posing for a picture (shown here with Beazer).

He's willing to sign the shirt on your—or in this case, my—back.

He is self-confident enough to walk around, however temporarily, looking like this.

And though he pitches like a seasoned veteran, he's still willing to do his rookie time.


Varitekchick said...

I just LOVE that boy. Love him, love him, love him!

Great blogging, sistah!

Beazer said...

Ditto on the Pap-love, sistahs!

I have one for the list:

He knows how well he is pitching, he knows how talented he is, yet he also knows that there are many guys on the team who can still teach him a thing or two.

He has said in interviews that he considers Mike Timlin his mentor - and he told a story on Fox Sports Net about the only time he shook off Jason Varitek. That shake off was followed by a double - and he learned the hard way to never shake off his Captain.


go yanks

Varitekchick said...

Oh lookie! We have another troll! Hee!