Papelbon not called on to pitch in MLB All-Star Game
Nine innings and three hours, 2 minutes passed Tuesday night and Jonathan Papelbon never left the bullpen during the American League's 6-3 win over the National League at Great American Ball Park.
CINCINNATI — Nine innings and three hours, 2 minutes passed Tuesday night and Jonathan Papelbon never left the bullpen during the American League's 6-3 win over the National League at Great American Ball Park.
The Phillies closer and six-time all-star was one of five NL pitchers and the only healthy NL reliever to not appear in the game. Manager Bruce Bochy called upon Milwaukee's Francisco Rodriguez, Pittsburgh's Mark Melancon and Aroldis Chapman of the host Cincinnati Reds to pitch the seventh, eighth and ninth, respectively.
The night marked the first All-Star Game since 1998 at Coors Field (Curt Schilling) in which a Phillies player did not appear.
"Yeah, of course you want to come in to pitch, make it feel worthwhile, you know?," Papelbon said when asked if he was disappointed.
It was not a wasted experience, though, the 34-year-old righthander said.
"No. No. No. No. I kind of expected to pitch, you know? I think I have more All-Star Games than I think everybody in here," he said as he glanced around the NL clubhouse.
Does that matter?
"I don't know," said Papelbon, who pitched in four of his previous five All-Star Games. He did not appear while in Pittsburgh for the midsummer classic in 2006, his rookie season with the Boston Red Sox. "I don't know if it does or not."
A.J. Burnett, who spent last season with the Phillies, did not get in the game, either, despite it being the first all-star nod for the established 38-year-old Pirates righthander. Atlanta's Shelby Miller and St. Louis' Michael Wacha and Carlos Martinez also did not pitch.
"It's hard," Papelbon said, "because you've got to cover so many innings and if you go into extras. ... It's not easy."
The game came one day after Papelbon stirred the pot, as he is one to do, at Monday's media day when he said "it's time to you-know-what or get off the pot" three times while discussing the Phillies' efforts to trade him. He also said Monday he felt if "so many people weren't involved in the decision-making of the Phillies organization I think things could be happening quicker and easier. That's just my opinion."
In a Tuesday morning interview with WIP-FM (94.1), Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. responded by saying, "Pap is a very good pitcher. He doesn't know anything about the front office."
"That's just my opinion," Papelbon said after Tuesday's All-Star Game. "Everyone's entitled to it, right?"
Papelbon's only chance to pitch Tuesday would have come if the game went to extra innings, which never appeared in the cards. The AL entered the ninth with a four-run lead.
Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels was again the star of the night but Pittsburgh's Andrew McCutchen and Minnesota's Brian Dozier also homered. Dozier's homer, a solo shot in the eighth inning off Melancon, bounced on the caging atop the NL bullpen in which Papelbon sat. Dozier hails from Hattiesburg, Miss., where Papelbon resides in the offseason.
Papelbon missed it, though. He "wasn't paying a whole lot of attention."
"I didn't know that was him," he said.
What were you doing out there?
"Snoozing," the always-entertaining closer said.
"Chapman made me get up out of my chair and move because he had to pitch on the mound that I was sitting on."
Despite his inactivity, Papelbon said he enjoyed his experience in Cincinnati. In the clubhouse after the game he held up a copy of Tuesday's USA TODAY, which accompanied a story about his Monday comments with a photo of he and his five-year-old son, Gunner, on the field.
"It was great," he said of his sixth all-star experience, his second as a member of the Phillies. "It was great."