31 July 2009

Broxton Angst

I wonder if Broxton is still hurting. Where did that walk to Joey Thurston come from? How does that even happen? He wasn't right. I could see it. I chickened out for the next batter, and fed the cats. Really! So I missed the first out of the ninth inning last night, but I hear it was a scary out to Manny. Then Ludwick came up, with Pujols on deck. Two home run threats in a row. Three, if Holliday comes up. I really feared for that game. If Broxton can be wild off the plate, he can be wild right over the heart of the plate when he really meant for the pitch to be on the corner. He did it in the terrible extra-inning loss Wednesday night, when he cocked that game into a 15-gallon hat by leaving two off-speed pitches right over the heart of the plate that turned into singles, with a wild pitch in between. He's just not right.

Nothing I saw in that Ludwick at bat changed my mind. Broxton got to a 2-1 count, but the strike came on a swing at a pitch out of the zone, in my judgment. And then on the next pitch Ludwick hit a fliner with more line than fly in it to left field, but Manny was there, and he made an awkward catch with his glove up against his kidney. Okay, two outs. And Pujols coming up.

But Broxton owns Pujols. Pujols hacked a feeble foul on the first pitch, then hacked a feebler comebacker on the next pitch, and Broxton nearly hand-delivered the ball to Loney for the out. After that out Pujols is 1-8 lifetime against Broxton. If you just judge Broxton by his performance against Pujols and Holliday in this series, he did great. It's what he did against the rest of them that makes me think there is still something wrong with him. Maybe his toe, or maybe something else he tweaked while trying to compensate for the toe.

If there is anything slightly wrong with Broxton, just shut him down for two weeks. Wise or not the Dodgers have Sherrill now, so why not use him? Sherrill can close while Broxton comes back to fullest health. The only problem is that I'm sure Broxton will never let on if something is bothering him. And maybe there isn't. But I watch him and I don't believe it.

Game 102 Unfair Win Shares ( Dodgers )

Kemp -- 1
Blake -- 1
Kuroda -- 1

I really wanted to give one to Furcal for his glorious booming double to drive in two and release the Dodger offensive hounds. But Blake was 4-5 with two runs scored, and that was Furcal's only hit, so I can't do it. I hope Blake is coming out of his slump here.

Game 102 Unfair Loss Shares ( Cardinals )

McClellan -- 1
Reyes -- 1
DeRosa -- 1

Finally the Dodgers were able to really push around the Cardinal bullpen. DeRosa wins a narrow battle among some other Cardinal hitters who had poor days because he struck out twice. I thought about giving the unfair loss share instead to Joe Thurston, because his miss of first base was still reverberating hilariously a day later. I'm surprised he remembered to touch first base on his walk in the tenth!

And now, Wednesday night's game:

Game 101 Unfair Win Shares ( Cardinals )

Pinero -- 1
Hawksworth -- 1
Pujols -- 1

If I was going to make up a name for a butler, it would be Hawksworth.

Game 101 Unfair Loss Shares ( Dodgers )

Broxton -- 1
Ethier -- 1
Martin -- 1

It is tempting to give Broxton two unfair loss shares for yakking up the game, especially after he did the hard part of getting Pujols and Holliday out. But it was just one run, and the Dodgers could have won it in extras. One is enough. Troncoso also blew a save, but he probably shouldn't even have been in the game. Weaver lost the game, but only in his third inning of work. No, the offense was the real culprit in this game. Martin was 0-7, just an awful game, and Ethier was even worse, in a way. Ethier was 0-5 with two walks, but one of the walks was intentional, and he hit into a double play and made lots of late outs with runners on base.

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