Oscar Salazar delivered an RBI single up the middle in the bottom of the ninth to give the Padres a 3-2 victory and a series win over the Dodgers, pushing them seven games back in the National League West. The hit came off of George Sherrill, who was brought into a tie game in the ninth rather than Jonathan Broxton.
True Blue LA wants to understand why Joe Torre is more concerned with following the rules than coaching to win.
In a tie game on the road, in the bottom of any inning after the ninth, the only way the road team can keep playing is by keeping the other team scoreless. The Dodgers best chance to do that in the ninth inning was Broxton, yet he waited in the bullpen for the call that never came. I’m sure Torre will say something in the post game about wanting to save Broxton in case the Dodgers got a lead, and that if he brought him in during a tie game, he wouldn’t want to have to pitch him two innings if necessary. But it’s ridiculous.
You don’t lose with your best option on the sideline. It’s not as if Torre hasn’t seen the flip side of this misuse. How many walk-offs have the Dodgers had in the past few seasons? They use Broxton in tie games in the ninth inning quite often, while the other teams’ closers wait for their lead that never comes. Almost every manager seems to manage this way, but that doesn’t make it right. The bullpen is awesome when it’s Status Kuo, not status quo.
Then again, with the Dodger offense on summer vacation, I’m not sure if it matters anymore.