…and even then, it might be too late.
I’m sure you’re expecting MSTI to blame Jason Johnson for giving up the game-winning homer to Pedro Feliz, but I can’t really do that. First of all, at least Joe Torre put in Johnson in the role he really should be filling – that of “extra inning long man after all the good guys have been used”. Johnson is what he is, and that’s a mediocre pitcher. You let him pitch in a field like Citizens Bank Park against a lineup like the Phillies’, and he’s going to give up some homers. You can’t expect anything else.
But Johnson is hardly the fall guy for this latest debacle. Look, there’s plenty of blame to go around here. I could question Torre being too conservative in taking out both Park and Kuo after just one effective inning each, but that’s pretty low on the list. Mostly, I have no defense for Jonathan Broxton on this one. Yeah, he can blame bad mechanics, but that’s not good enough. The leadoff hit to Shane Victorino was a killer, and the lack of control – especially the four-pitch walk to Andy Tracy – was brutal. Actually, that brings up the worst performance of last night, that of ESPN’s Joe Morgan, who insisted that Broxton was pitching around Andy Tracy. Who hadn’t seen the big leagues since 2004. In order to get to Pedro Feliz, who may be a mediocre hitter but does have a good bit of pop in his bat (6 consecutive double-digit homer seasons). Of course that was the plan, Joe!
No, I’m not going to excuse Broxton on this one. How could you? He blew it. But the bigger problem right now is the offense. 12 runs over the last 6 games just isn’t going to cut it. And it’s not like you can just point the finger at one or two guys, because other than James Loney and Jeff Kent, everyone has been awful.
Last 7 days:
Manny: .250/.375/.250 .625 OPS
Blake: .200/.304/.300 .604 OPS
Kemp: .192/.222/.346 .568 OPS
Ethier: .143/.217/.286 .503 OPS
Martin: .136/.136/.318 .455 OPS
Nomar: .167/.167/.167 .333 OPS
That, friends, is just a cavalcade of awful. Special bonus points of suck awarded to Casey Blake for doing just about the worst possible thing you could do with a bases loaded, no outs situation in the top of the 10th: grounding into a 5-2 double play. It’s not even that he didn’t do anything positive, it’s that he did the worst kind of negative action he could have, short of a triple play. A sac fly gets a run home. A double play to short or second probably gets a run home. A strikeout or a popup doesn’t get a run home, but it doesn’t accrue two outs and lose the lead runner, too.
And yeah, that picture above is kind of old. But I can’t think of anything more appropriate than seeing a Dodger get kicked in the chest after last night.
- Mike Scioscia’s tragic illness