Monday, October 13, 2008

Dodgers Season Virtually Over

The Dodgers had plenty of chances to win tonight, but gave it up several times over.

A bizarre series of bullpen decisions from Joe Torre made the game almost irrational to watch. Lowe pitched 5 excellent innings, giving up only 2 runs. He was not taken out for a pinch hitter, instead the inexperienced Kershaw was brought out with no explanation in the 6th. I know Lowe was on short rest, but so what? It's a 1-run game at that point. Kershaw got an out but also gave up a walk and a hit.

From there, Joe brings out Chan Ho Park, who gives up the tying run but gets an out. Then Torre turns to Beimel, who gets out of the inning.

Things got stranger in a 4-run 8th. Kuo came in to pitch the 7th, and did so well that Torre had him bat and bunt in the bottom of the inning. He got the bunt down, but the Dodgers could not get the run in.

At the top of the 8th, Kuo pitched to one batter and was removed for Cory Wade, who had pitched 2 innings the previous night. Wade started the season in AA and has done well against lefties, but why pull Kuo? It backfired, and Wade gave up the 2-run homer which tied the game at 5.

Pulling the clearly exhausted Wade, he was replaced with Broxton, who had also pitched the previous night. Broxton's one flaw is his over reliance on his fastball. As fast as it is, there are plenty of people who can hit it, and another 2-run homer killed off the Dodgers for good.

In NY, a lot was made of Torre's bullpen decisions, but when you can finish the game with the best closer in baseball, you can still make it to the playoffs. In LA, there's not as much to work with, and those decision are a lot more important. Even in NY, there were complaints about his overuse of Scott Proctor. With Proctor on the DL, Torre overused Wade, and the result is that the season is probably over after Wednesday. Torre appears resigned to losing, and even cancelled tomorrow's workout session.

Another record crowd of 56,800 was silenced at the end of the game.
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