Over the Monster Reacts: 'Papelbon Blows Up'

When Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon entered the game with two outs and two inherited runners in the bottom of the eighth, the score was 5-2, Sox. By the time Hideki Okajima relieved him three outs later in the ninth, the Angels led, 7-6. Given that Papelbon has historically been a rock for this team, this is an especially painful way to lose a playoff series. But we don’t have to tell that to our Red Sox blog, Over the Monster.

But in the end it would come down to the back-end of the bullpen—the part that was supposed to be reliable—giving up the game. Billy Wagner gave up a double and a walk before Terry Francona called on Papelbon for the final 4 outs. Papelbon didn’t deliver. A single to Juan Rivera scored both of Wagner’s baserunners in the 8th, and in the 9th Papelbon—who had never given up a postseason run—absolutely blew up with 2 outs, giving up a single, a walk, a double, and an intentional walk to bring Vladimir Guerrero to the plate with the bases loaded, 2 outs, and a one run lead. Guerrero singled to center, the Sox went down in order in the 9th, and their season was over.

Over the Monster follows up with some suddenly relevant questions as the Red Sox enter the offseason. Check it out.

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