Whew! Well that was interesting. The Dodgers were cruising with a 3-1 lead with 2 outs in the 9th thanks to homers by Juan Uribe and Matt Kemp, and some sparkling defense, when all of a sudden Jonathan Broxton started giving up two strike singles. First it was Will Venable on a 1-2 pitch. Then the Dodgers let Venable have second base, something I hate in a 2 run game, and when Orlando Hudson singled on a 1-2 pitch Venable scored rather than being at third, making it a 1 run game
Chase Headley then hit an 0-2 pitch for a single moving Hudson to third. When Nick Hundley ripped Broxton’s first pitch to left it looked like a sure double and a bizarre Padres comeback. However, Tony Gwynn Jr, put in the game in the 9th inning as a defensive replacement, came out of nowhere to make a game saving diving catch. a 3-2 Dodgers win, and the great Broxton closer debate put on hold thanks to Gwynn’s remarkable catch.
On a night when Andre Ethier made us wait 2 at-bats before extending his hitting streak to 25 with a 5th inning double, great defensive plays was a constant theme. While Gwynn’s catch was by far the most timely and the best, Matt Kemp also made a fantastic diving catch, Andre Ethier made 2 nice catches including a sliding grab, and Juan Uribe had a sweet diving grab as well.
The Dodgers also wisely let 2 bloopers drop with runners on base that resulted in double plays due to some shoddy Padre base running.
Ted Lilly went 6 solid innings allowing on 1 run on 5 hits to pick up the win. Matt Guerrier and Vicente Padilla pitched scoreless innings in relief, thanks to Kemp’s catch in the 7th inning and Aaron Miles playing a broken bat blooper into a double play, after Padilla had walked 2 batters.
Ethier scored Jamey Carroll in the first inning on an RBI ground out, while Uribe and Kemp added solo home runs to give the Dodgers all of the offense they would need, thanks to Gwynn. Had Gwynn not saved the day manager Don Mattingly would have surely been barraged by questions about Broxton still being the club’s closer. Thankfully we don’t have to address those today, however Broxton clearly is having trouble putting runners away with 2 strikes.
The same 2 teams square off Saturday a 7PM PT with Hiroki Kuroda going against Tim Stauffer. The Dodgers moved to 3 and a half games behind the Rockies with the victory that moved them to 14-13 on the season.
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