So…you still want Ramon Troncoso or George Sherrill to save games for your Dodgers down the stretch? Raise your hand if you were one of the many who have questioned whether or not Jonathan Broxton should have the job? Not only last month but all of you who have had your doubts ever since Sammy Saito got hurt last year.
Broxton has been brilliant!
He’s got 35 saves so far this year in 40 chances. I’ll take that any year. In his last 10 chances — when they’ve meant the most, he’s 10 for 10 with an ERA of zilch. And is it just me or does it seem like he strikes out two of every three hitters he faces?
Anybody who’s familiar with my stance on closers knows that I don’t think it’s all that tough of a job. There are only two characteristics that a closer needs to do the job and neither of them have anything to do with what kind of stuff the guy has.
He needs the guts to take the ball and get the last three outs of a game, and a short memory if he doesn’t.
His job is to ride in on his white horse with nobody on and nobody out in a 4-1 game and get three outs before he gives up three runs. Then get the hi-fives, get the girl, and get the big contract.
It’s only been in the last 15 years or so that teams have actually groomed pitchers to be their “closer of the future”. Before that, a lot of closers were washed up starters (Dennis Eckersley, Eric Gagne) or pitchers that hadn’t worked out at any other team or spot in the Bullpen (Heathcliff Slocumb). And you don’t have to have a blazing fastball like big J.B., or a jelly-legging curveball like K-Rod — just ask Doug Jones, who never made the catchers glove pop and very few people even knew what he threw! Some, like Jesse Orosco or John Franco rarely threw strikes at all.
By the way, Jones and Franco are both in the top 20 all-time in saves.
So I say get behind what Broxton has been doing this year and realize he’s one of the best in the business. What do you want, Brad Lidge from last season? Wouldn’t that be great? 47 straight saves without a single blown save all year — not even in the playoffs. The problem is, you might end up with Brad Lidge this year — 10 blown saves.
Stick with “Ironman”.
— Steve Lyons
You know what the difference between an “off day” and a day off is? They sound the same, don’t they? But trust me, the Dodgers know they are vastly different.
April 20th was a day on the schedule where the Dodgers didn’t play a game. A Day off, right? Wrong. That day was an “off day.”
If it were a day off, Casey Blake may have spent his time with his three daughters and newborn son. Russell Martin may have shopped for a new pair of shades and taken his girlfriend out for a nice dinner. James Loney may have cleaned up his room and did some laundry.
Those guys didn’t do any of that stuff because April 20th was an “off day” not a day off. They had to be at the ballpark by 10 AM, on the bus at 11 and on a flight to Houston by 1. Because the next day was the beginning of the 9 game road trip to Houston, Colorado and San Francisco that they just finished up. During that time there wasn’t an “off day” OR day off.
And now that they are back home to start an 11 game home stand in Dodger stadium where they have yet to be defeated, the next “off day” isn’t until Monday, May 11th.
Notice, I said “off day”….not day off.
That’s 20 games in 20 days.
So the next time the Dodgers don’t have a game on the schedule, Blake will kiss his wife and kids good bye, Martin will promise a nice dinner when he gets home, and Loney will clean up later. Because on that day, they will go to the park, get on a bus and then hop on a plane to Philly and then Florida.
The next day off for your Dodgers is May 21st.
— Steve Lyons
Wow!! I’m a blogger—-albeit with the help of the Dodgers and Eric Collins, but it’s true.
I’m really excited about this! Now I’m even thinking about getting a facebook page and tweeting somebody. (I can do that without getting fired again, can’t I?)
Last week I had to hit the #7 key on my phone four times just to get the letter “s” into the sentence I was texting somebody, and now… I’m a blogger! Welcome to the new century.
Since this is my first entry I thought I might set the expectations for what kind of postings you may see from me in the future.
As previously stated, I’m computer illiterate, technologically left in the dust and otherwise flabbergasted as to why anybody would want to know what I think about a road trip to Pittsburgh in September or any other time. So I doubt I’ll be killing a lot of brain cells hovering over this computer four times a week explaining what went wrong with the bullpen last night.
What I will do is check in to what you are saying about the Dodgers, try to answer some of the questions you may have and try to write about things that really stood out in my mind when they happen.
What you won’t hear from me is a basic recap of what we all saw the night before. If I did the game that night, you already heard what I thought and if it was a game that Vin did…..what else needs to be said?
I’ll be way more interested in what you have to say, and hearing your thoughts on the Dodgers than whatever I write here. I’m sure the Dodgers would appreciate it if I pretty much stick to what happens on the field, but you know me…..I won’t.
There’s gonna be tons of opportunities to talk about how far Manny’s Home Run ball actually traveled or why the 2-2 pitch Bills threw to Pujols in the 7th wasn’t called a strike, and hopefully with your help we’ll get deeper into some of those situations, but the way I look at it, if I go on a 10 day roadie with the Dodgers to New York, Milwaukee and Chicago and the only thing I can find to talk about is the games…….??