ESPN.com had this little blurb on it’s website today, right next to the story about how the Red Sox found a way to lose their fourth in a row and second consecutive to the Royals:
Who leads the American League in blown saves since June 1? Would you believe it’s Jonathan Papelbon, who blew a one-run ninth-inning lead in the Red Sox’s 5-4 loss to the Royals. It was Papelbon’s second consecutive blown save, and his fifth in his last 15 opportunities after starting the season 20-for-20. Papelbon shares the A.L. lead in blown saves since June 1 with Ambiorix Burgos.
Somebody please tell me: how is it possible to lead the league in blown saves over a period of two and a half months and still have an ERA lower than one? I guarantee you Ambiorix Burgos’ ERA is more than one.
There, I checked. It’s 5.43. That’s an ERA you’d expect from a guy who’s leading the league in blown saves. How in the world does Papelbon keep his ERA so low?
Has he had way more appearances than other closers, minimizing the impact of the runs he gives up? Or is he the AL version of Reds reliever Rheal Cormier, who gained a reputation this season for coming into games and always allowing inherited runners to score, but never his own (thus his misleading 1.93 ERA)?