Valkyrie was more watchable than the last two innings tonight
I am still trying to figure out how the Dodgers lost this game. Once up 5-0, and leading 6-2 entering the ninth, the Dodgers appeared poised to win the series against the Yankees. Only it was not to be, as the Yankees rallied to tie, then win in the 10th inning, 8-6 over the shocked crowd at Dodger Stadium.
Jonathan Broxton entered the ninth inning tonight up 6-2, in another non-save situation, his fourth game in five days. Here are the win expectancies at the moment Broxton entered each of his last three games:
However, this time the 1.2% came through. A tired and ineffective Broxton allowed four runs to tie the game, and was allowed to throw 48 pitches by Torre, although if you want to discount his one intentional walk, I suppose he threw 44.
Perhaps Broxton should have been removed after it was clear he was scuffling tonight, but the problem is there was nobody else left in the bullpen that Torre trusts right now. Ronald Belisario already pitched the eighth, and Hong-Chih Kuo got five outs yesterday, so the other options were Ramon Troncoso and George Sherrill, who have been terrible most of this season.
Torre did eventually use both Troncoso and Sherrill in the 10th inning, and the Yankees scored off them, too. Troncoso allowed a base hit and was pulled with one out in favor of Sherrill to fave the left-handed hitting Robinson Cano. Cano, who was hitless in 11 at-bats against Sherrill, deposited a ball over the left field wall for the winning margin.
Broxton's last save opportunity was June 9.
Clayton Kershaw allowed just two runs in his seven innings, both runs coming on a sixth-inning home run by Alex Rodriguez, his second long ball of the series. Kershaw allowed just four hits, but more importantly didn't walk a batter for the first time in his career. He struck out five Yankees, but also induced three infield popups.
Matt Kemp didn't start today, just the second game he hasn't started all season, and Reed Johnson filled in more than ably. Johnson led off both the third and fourth innings with a double, and on the night collected three hits in five at-bats. Johnson's first double, in the third inning, set off quite a chain of events for the Dodgers. Three consecutive batters bunted, and all reached base. A Rafael Furcal bunt single was sandwiched by sacrifices by Clayton Kershaw and Ronnie Belliard, both of which were aided by throwing miscues by Andy Pettitte, one of third base and one to first base.
Belliard added a home run in the fourth to push the Dodgers to a five-run lead at the time. Rafael Furcal had two hits and two walks.
WP - Mariano Rivera (2-1): 2 IP, 1 hit
LP - Ramon Troncoso (1-2): 1/3 IP, 1 hit, 1 run