Billingsley hits in the eighth inning and pitches all nine innings.
I don't think anyone thought this would happen, or planned for it to happen. When Torre let Billingsley hit, it was almost certainly with the idea that he would pitch one more inning and that's it. I'm okay with that, if Billingsley can pitch one more inning. Torre thought he could, and I did too. It turns out we were both wrong.
Billinsgley hits in the eighth inning and pitches the eighth. Broxton gets the save in the ninth.
This is what Torre thought and hoped would happen when he let Billingsley hit, I'm sure. Three things: he didn't really trust any reliever except Broxton with the game on the line, he thought Billingsley had another inning in him, and he didn't want to have Broxton go two full innings.
Billingsley hits in the eighth inning and falters and has to come out in the bottom of the eighth. Broxton comes in in the eighth, gets out of the jam, and goes on to record a 5 out save.
This was Torre's revised plan. Now I'm wondering, if he's willing to go with Broxton in the eighth with one out, why not use him right from the start? It's not that I'm opposed to bringing Broxton with runners on ( better him than any other reliever ), but isn't it maybe even harder on the arm to get two outs with runners on first and second than to get three outs with no one on? It seems like it would be harder with so much less room for error.
But I understand why Torre did it this way. He wanted to get away with using Broxton for only one inning if he could, so he gambled that Billingsley could get through one more. He lost.
Mota pitches at any time in the game.
I think Torre really wanted to avoid this. I know I did. Colletti made that mistake, and it is done. I think it's time to start looking for a replacement for Mota. Every other reliever has some promise, and shouldn't be given up on yet. But Mota is awful and what reason is there to think he'll improve?
The eighth inning turns into a complete mess with both Billingsley and Broxton struggling and the Dodgers barely get out alive. Ohman gets the save in the ninth.
That's what happened. No one planned it that way. Maybe Ohman should have started the eighth, with Broxton to back him up if he got into trouble. In hindsight this sure seems like the best plan.
Broxton pitches the eighth and retired the heart of the Giant order. Ohman gets the save in the ninth against the tail of the Giant order.
Maybe that is what should have happened. The eighth inning figured to be the tough inning all along, even without Billingsley's struggles. Let Broxton get those tough hitters, and maybe he would have without starting with men on base, and let Ohman get the easier part of the lineup.