Reward outweighs risk for Papelbon
One sure sign that the universe remains fickle to both American League East superpowers, not to mention the 37,461 souls fervently anticipating a memorable moment of hardball drama early Saturday evening:
There were two outs, two on and the Red Sox holding a 4-3 lead in the top of the eighth as Jonathan Papelbon ran in from the bullpen to face Yankees cleanup man Alex Rodriguez. Before Papelbon could finish warming up, the skies opened, the rain poured and the grounds crew hauled out the tarp.
An hour later, the grounds crew pulled back the tarp and began manicuring the infield.
Five minutes after that, the grounds crew pulled the tarp back across the infield just before the skies reopened. The masses groaned; beyond wondering if the beer taps would stay open much longer, they could brood over whether Papelbon would return to the mound whenever play resumed.
At 8:32 p.m., Papelbon finished warming up for the third time and, at 8:33, Rodriguez swung through a 96-mph fastball and fouled it back. At 8:34, the 8,000 or so still rattling around the yard roared as Rodriguez struck out on another 96-mph fastball