While most of the 2012 Dodgers are watching the Division Series from their couch like us, some old friends and familiar faces are participating in the playoffs this October. While Matt Kemp is busy clubbing alongside buddy Torii Hunter in Hollywood just four days after undergoing shoulder surgery (see the video on TMZ), former Dodgers like Jonathan Broxton, Dioner Navarro, Ryan Theriot, Octavio Dotel, Guillermo Mota, Russell Martin, and Hiroki Kuroda are playing in pivotal Division Series games with their current teams.
Who else felt a little bit of déjà vu on Tuesday night when former Dodger Jonathan Broxton suffered the loss in Game 3 of the National League Division Series between the Giants and the Reds? Broxton, who will always be remembered by Dodger fans as the guy who imploded in the 2008 and 2009 NLCS, didn’t help his team’s cause in the top of the tenth inning when he allowed two hits and the eventual winning run to the Giants. Sure, Ryan Hanigan did allow a passed ball and third baseman Scott Rolen made a costly error. But Broxton did serve up back-to-back singles to Buster Posey and Hunter Pence to give San Francisco two runners on with nobody out. In true Broxtonian style, the run was scored on two outs after he struck out Brandon Belt and Xavier Nady. The big guy ends up striking out the side after he whiffed Sergio Romo, but the damage was done. Even though Broxton did save 84 games during his seven seasons as a Dodger, Dusty Baker should know that it’s extremely risky putting Broxton in during late innings of a high stakes playoff games. Let’s hope Cincinnati can take Game 5, and knock our arch rivals out of the playoffs.
Broxton isn’t the only former Dodger on the Reds’ playoff roster. Outfielder Xavier Paul and catcher Dioner Navarro are also part of this Cincinnati team. So far, Navarro has played in one game of the Division Series and has one hit. Paul has had two at bats, and he has one hit as well.
Last night’s battle between the New York Yankees and the Baltimore Orioles also featured a former Dodger or two. Our beloved former Japanese pitcher, Hiroki Kuroda made a solid start for the Yankees in Game 3. As usual, Kuroda did not get much run support from his team, but the Yanks picked up the win after twelve innings. Kuroda pitched 8 1/3 innings, allowing 2 runs on 5 hits, 1 walk, and 3 strikeouts. He wasn’t involved in the decision, while his teammate Raul Ibanez took matters into his own hands by homering to tie the game up in the bottom of the ninth then going deep for a second time in the bottom half of the twelfth to win it for the Yankees in walk-off style. Even though he’s wearing pinstripes, I can’t help but root for Kuroda. The Yankees also have former Dodger Derek Lowe and catcher Russell Martin on their playoff roster. Martin, who had a frustrating season in New York, has hit well in the Division Series so far. He has 3 hits in his 10 at bats including a homerun in Game 1.
Although it’s very odd to see the battery of Russell Martin and Hiroki Kuroda for the Yankees, the constant flux of rosters and players between teams is part of the game. I admit I get a little emotionally attached to some Dodgers. I was sad to see Russell Martin go, and I was even more upset when Frank McCourt couldn’t afford to resign Hiroki Kuroda last winter. The great season by A.J. Ellis helped me easily get over the Martin departure, but there’s still a part of me who misses Hiro. Cincinnati can keep Jonathan Broxton and Dioner Navarro.
Are there any former Dodgers who you miss? Do you still root for former Dodgers in the postseason even when they have moved on to other teams?