Jonathan Papelbon came into Wednesday night's game to lock down his 22nd save of the season for the Phillies as they won their third-straight over the NL Central-leading Brewers. His post-game comments were less inspiring than the Phillies recent play in Milwaukee.
Much of the conversation centered on the looming July 31st non-waiver trade deadline and Papelbon was rather candid with reporters about his desire to play elsewhere. He told reporters, "Some guys want to stay on a losing team? That's mind-boggling to me. I think that's a no-brainer (to want to leave)." The Philadelphia Daily News' Ryan Lawrence asked Papelbon, 'So you'd like to be pitching for a contender later this month?' to which the closer responded. “Of course, man. What kind of question is that?”
But there's that no-trade clause Papelbon has, right? Well, that apparently won't be an issue as he won't let that stand in the way of him pitching for a contender this season.
I'm sure as frustrating as the losing is the for the fans it is more frustrating for those in the Phillies clubhouse. No one wants to go to the ballpark ever day to lose 56% of the time as has been the case with the 2014 Phillies. So Papelbon's frustration is warranted.
But I can't help but wonder what his teammates think of some of these comments. The question was "pitching for a contender later this month" meaning someone besides the Phillies. The question wasn't "do you wish the Phillies were a contender at this point in the season." I'd be a little irked but maybe that's just the way I'm looking at it as an outsider.
You can't knock Papelbon's on-field performance this season. He is 2-1 with a 1.24 ERA and a 0.85 WHIP with 22 saves to just two blown saves. Papelbon has put up All-Star numbers but got edged out due to a lot of pitching depth in the National League this season.
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