Jonathan Papelbon didn’t hide his feeling after the Red Sox’ 4-3 loss to the Yankees in 10 innings. As soon as he was asked about the ninth inning, in which he gave up a run and blew his American League-leading eighth save, he put part of the blame at the feet of home plate umpire Phil Cuzzi.
“Really rough tonight, considering the fact that I’m not only pitching against the hitter, I’m pitching against the umpire,’’ Papelbon said. “When you’ve got to do that against this lineup, you’ll never be successful.’’
...Cuzzi’s strike zone forced Papelbon to give in to the hitter and throw pitches more on the plate than he was comfortable doing.
“When you’ve got to do that, you’re in a lose-lose situation,’’ Papelbon said. “Just call the game. There’s 27 outs. Call the game. Don’t let the crowd influence you, don’t let the hitter influence you, don’t call the pitch where the catcher catches it. Stay focused for 27 outs and call the game.
“I’m not blaming the umpire. I could have definitely battled a little bit more out of that situation. I’m not one to complain about pitches, no, I’m not one to do that at all. But when you’re pitching against an umpire and their lineup, nobody can win in that situation. It’s impossible.’’