Papelbon survives scare
All-Star closer avoids 10th-inning injury on Crawford liner
ST. PETERSBURG -- There was one positive piece of news for the Red Sox amid an excruciating 11-inning loss in Game 2 of the American League Championship Series on Saturday.
A well-struck ball by Carl Crawford in the 10th inning that deflected off Jonathan Papelbon and over to Dustin Pedroia, for what wound up a 1-4-3 out, did no kind of damage to Boston's All-Star closer.
"It hit my glove first [and then] grazed my shoulder," said Papelbon. "I'm fine."
When Red Sox manager Terry Francona and trainer Paul Lessard rushed out to the mound to check on Papelbon, the righty waved his arm as if to say, "I'm fine."
Was he surprised they continued their visit even after the dismissive wave to make sure he was really OK?
"I wasn't surprised. They come out there for a bug bite," quipped Papelbon. "But no, no, I'm fine. Totally fine."
Considering how crucial Papelbon has become to the Red Sox in the month of October, that is reason to breathe easy.
Papelbon extended his record streak of career postseason innings without allowing a run to 22.
In this one, he retired all four batters he faced, striking out one.
How does Papelbon manage to continually come up big in the postseason?
"He has the ability to amp it up without losing focus in what he's doing," Francona said. "He's not out there being crazy. He's channeling that energy."
Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.