Dodgers end week one tied for 1st place and tonight will decide who is in 1st place come Tuesday. While the Rockies, Diamondbacks, and Padres closers were all having trouble finishing off games, Broxton and Saito were proving to be the strength of the Dodger team.
April 2nd, Diamondback closer Brandon Lyon blows save by giving up 3 run jack to Edwin Encarnacion
April 6th, Diamondback closer Brandon Lyon blows save by giving up a solo home run to Holliday
April 2nd, Padre closer Trevor Hoffman blows save
April 6th, Padre closer Trevor Hoffman loses game on Hu single
April 6th, Rockie closer Manny Corpus blows save by giving up a 2 run home run to Mark Reynolds
Not exactly what you want from your closers.
Everyone in the West is displaying solid starting pitching but the difference between the Dodgers and everyone else is that the back end of our bullpen has held up while all of their's have faltered. The Diamondbacks may be in 1st place but they have to be worried about Brandon Lyon already blowing two saves. Luckily for them they have options in Pena Jr or Chad Qualls but the decision to trade away Valverde might come back to haunt them. The Padres played a great weekend against the Dodgers and they could just as easily have won 2 out of the 3 instead of losing 2 out of 3 but they don't appear to have the rock solid bullpen which has been their staple over the past few years. Hoffman looks more and more like time has caught up to him as his fastball is now barely distinguishable from his changeup. Heath Bell could be the answer, but who will do the yeoman work that he provided as the setup to Hoffman? The Rockies have more problems then just their bullpen as their 1 - 5 mark attests but Manny Corpus killed them yesterday when he allowed Reynolds to take him deep in the 9th inning yesterday. No need to discuss the Giants as other then starting pitching, they have more holes then Bonnie and Clyde
Broxton and Saito are doing exactly as the Dodgers expected but they have also gotten some solid pitching from Troncoso who at this time last year was an unknown pitching in the California League. The offense has been anemic as Martin, Jones, Kemp, and Kent have all been MIA after one week. The defense was a big part of the win on Sunday as Rafy Furcal made Broxton look good in the box scores when he extended his full 5'9 and turned what looked like a sure game tying hit into the last out. Chin-Lung Hu not only made a heads up play to nail Brian Giles who strayed to far from 3rd base but also drove in the winning run.
That would be plus one for defense at 2nd base over offense as Hu was the difference maker in this game.
A little shout out to Blake DeWitt who has held his own defensively and offensively after one week. Many of us, including myself expected him to be over matched but so far, so good.
Tonight Estaban Loaiza goes against Dan Haren as the decision to bring in Billingsley last Wednesday before the rain delay continues to hurt us 4 days later as Chad's start was bumped to Tuesday.
Torre is doing some good things and some not so good things. Love the way he's handled the bullpen, not to crazy about Pierre playing but I'm not going to expend much energy on that until I see a few more weeks of baseball.