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Papelbon unconcerned by struggles, trades

PHILADELPHIA -- Jonathan Papelbon made it crystal clear he wants to be traded before the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline.

Why would anybody want to play on a losing team, he said recently.

But the past couple of games have not helped his cause. A night after he blew his third save of the season in a 9-6 loss to the Giants in 14 innings at Citizens Bank Park, he allowed three runs in the ninth inning in Wednesday's 3-1 loss to the Giants. It was the first time he allowed runs in back-to-back appearances this season after allowing runs in only three of his first 39 appearances.

"I think if you were to put an entire season into two games it would be pretty dumb," Papelbon said.

Papelbon is 2-2 with a 1.96 ERA and 23 saves in 26 opportunities, so he could help a contending team. But with the Tigers acquiring Joakim Soria from the Rangers on Wednesday and the Angels recently acquiring Huston Street from the Padres, there are fewer and fewer landing spots for the Phillies' closer.

"Nope," he said, asked if the news about Soria disappointed him. "I have no control over that. I don't worry about things in life I have no control over."

On Wednesday, Papelbon hit Michael Morse with a 0-1 fastball before striking out the next two batters he faced. After pinch-runner Gregor Blanco stole second base, Papelbon intentionally walked Brandon Crawford to put runners on first and second.

He walked pinch-hitter Hector Sanchez on six pitches to load the bases for Hunter Pence.

Papelbon threw a 2-2 slider that was a strike to almost everybody, but home-plate umpire Vic Carapazza called it a ball. Two pitches later, Pence doubled to right field to clear the bases and break the scoreless tie.

The game was over as Papelbon contemplated the possibility of remaining in Philly after the 31st.

"I have no control over it," he said. "I love the bullpen that I'm in right now. I love the guys down there. To me, it makes no difference. Whatever happens, happens. I have no control over that. What are you going to do? I don't really worry about it. I try to prepare every day and do my best. Let the hits land where they land and let the umpires call the calls they call."

Todd Zolecki and Austin Laymance are reporters for
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