Originally posted on Philly Sports World  |  Last updated 5/19/12

The Phillies signed Jonathan Papelbon to a very rich contract in the offseason, and he earned his money last night, notching his 12th save of the season against his former teammates, the Boston Red Sox.

With the game on the line, the music blared and Jonathan Papelbon, the $50 million closer for the Phillies ran onto the field. Papelbon is always intense and focused, but his eyes looked a little more locked in, a little hungrier than in a lot of his other saves.

That was probably because it was his first opportunity to nail down a save against the team he pitched for and not against for 7 seasons. A team with which he won a World Series. That’s right, Papelbon was facing the Boston Red Sox.

For all of the hand wringing so far in this Phillies season, it was a moment to be enjoyed, and one of the first moments that the full effect of having a legitimate closer for the first time since 2008 could be felt. It was a good feeling.

The Phillies put up 6 runs, and a less than stellar Cole Hamels was able to make it work, picking up his 6th win of the season, giving the team their 6th win in a row and 7th of the last 8.

But the true drama took place in the 9th with Papelbon throwing 95 MPH fastballs while a couple of Bostonians rained down an awful, drunk sing song called “you only have one pitch, Jonathan” from behind home plate.

Papelbon gave up a lead off single, though it probably should have gone as an error against Mike Fontenot who had the sharply hit ball hit him in the heel of his glove and then hit him in the arm. While he helplessly looked in the air for the ball, it rolled a few feet away from him on the ground. But that was it for the theater, and Papelbon recorded the next three outs en route to his 12th save as a Phillie. It will quietly be one that he’ll probably never forget.

In the battle of last place teams, the Phillies got the win. Papelbon did was he is paid so well to do, and the Phillies pulled to within 4 games of the NL East lead, and two games over .500 for the first time this season.

Jonathan Papelbon spoke less about the Save against the Red Sox and more about how the Phillies have finally gotten hot. “We’ve been on a good little streak here, and we’ve got to keep this train rolling.” Papelbon said after the game. “We’ve got the capability to put 10 wins on the board real quick.”

It’s not 10 yet, but 6 is a welcome start.

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