Jonathan Broxton can't close it again as Dodgers lose another heartbreaker, 2-1, to Giants
And now for the mysterious case of Jonathan Broxton -- lights out one moment, struggling the next ... and then what?
There’s the good Broxton and the bad Broxton, the one the Dodgers cannot afford.
Broxton failed again Saturday, failed miserably and unnervingly, turning a much-needed Dodgers victory into a numbing 2-1 loss to the Giants.
Brought into the game with one on and two out in the bottom of the eighth and the Dodgers leading, 1-0, Broxton threw a 3-2 pitch to Pat Burrell that was lined over the left-field wall for a two-run homer.
Broxton (3-3) was coming off two scoreless outings. Which came on the heels of two miserable outings (including one against the Giants). Hot, cold, what?
The struggling Dodgers were trying to make the excellent starting pitching of Chad Billingsley and a solo home run by Casey Blake hold up for a badly needed victory.
Billingsley, volunteering to pitch a day short of his normal rest because of the suspension to Clayton Kershaw, pitched 6 2/3 shutout innings. He ran his overall scoreless streak to 21 2/3 innings. He gave up two hits, walked two and struck out five.
And deserved a much better outcome.
Hong-Chih Kuo took over for Billingsley, but when he hit Buster Posey with a pitch with two out in the eighth, Manager Joe Torre went to Broxton.
Broxton never seemed sharp, but then giving up two-run, game-winning home runs tends to influence appearances.
The Giants have won two consecutive games by one run against the Dodgers without their closer, Brian Wilson, who is injured.
The San Francisco comeback avoided making Barry Zito a hard-luck loser. He gave up three hits in his seven innings, but one was Blake’s 11th home run of the season.
The Dodgers’ feeble offense is officially back. It was held to three hits. It's the third time in four games that the Dodgers managed four or fewer hits. And they have lost all four games.
-- Steve Dilbeck