The Top 10 List of Non-Giants Who Should Be on Every Giants Fan’s Christmas Card List: No. 2, Jonathan Broxton

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This is the perfect fit. Anytime More Splash Hits thinks about a Dodger, we think about No. 2.

So the No. 2 spot is perfect for Jonathan Broxton.

Into late June, Broxton was as good as any closer in baseball. By June 26, he was 3-0 with 16 saves and an ERA at 0.83.

On June 27, Broxton got tagged for four runs on four hits and two walks in a 8-6 loss to the Yankees. It was the fourth game Broxton had pitched in five days.

From there, things went downhill for Broxton, and the Giants contributed to his woes.

Against the Giants, it started on July 20 at Dodger Stadium.  The Dodgers took a 5-4 lead into the top of the ninth. Broxton was called on to get the save.

He promptly gave up an infield single to Juan Uribe and walked Nate Schierholtz on a full-count pitch. After Aaron Rowand sacrificed the runners to second and third, Aubrey Huff was intentionally walked to load the bases.

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This is where Don Mattingly, the Dodgers’ acting manager after Joe Torre was ejected along with pitcher Clayton Kershawn for hitting Rowand with a pitch two innings earlier, came out to the mound to speak to Broxton. As Mattingly began to head back to the dugout, he took one step off the dirt area, spun around back onto the dirt circle to say one more thing to either Broxton or his infielders.

Giants manager Bruce Bochy saw this, and went to the umpires and contested that, by rule, Mattingly should be charged with two visits to the mound. This is would require Broxton to be removed from the game.

Now while the umpires were conferring and then began speaking to Mattingly, right-hander Travis Schlichting was throwing in the bullpen. When the Dodgers became aware that they would have to remove Broxton, they got the left-hander George Sherrill up to throw. He got about three tosses in the bullpen before the umpires summoned him into the game.

The umpires told Mattingly that Sherrill would have as much time as possible to get ready. But Sherrill was not made aware of this. After eight warm-up tosses, umpire Tim McClelland asked Sherrill if he was ready, and he said “Yes, I guess, ’cause I’m not getting any more”

Mattingly didn’t come out to make sure his pitcher was ready. And Sherrill promptly gave up a two-run double to Andres Torres. THEN, Schlichting replaced Sherrill and gave up a single to Buster Posey to score another run, the Giants went on to win 7-5.

Broxton was charged with all three runs. But the story doesn’t end there. A day later, MLB said the umpires had not ruled properly in this case. According to the rules, Mattingly should have been ejected from the game (which he wasn’t) and Broxton should have been allowed to pitch to Torres (which he wasn’t).

On July 31 in San Francisco, the Dodgers were nursing a 1-0 lead in the eighth when Hong-Chih Kuo easily retired the first two batters he faced in the inning. But then he hit Buster Posey with a pitch, and Torre came out to replace Kuo with Broxton.

patdbat.jpegBroxton faced Pat Burrell, who worked the count full before hammering a pitch over the left-field wall for a two-run homer. The Giants went on to win the game 2-1.

For the highlight go to:
http://mlb.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=10465835

On Sept. 4 in Los Angeles, the Dodgers took a 4-0 lead off Matt Cain before the Giants because to chip away at the lead. First Buster Posey homered off LA starter Ted Lilly in the seventh.

Edgar Renteria homered off Lilly to open the eighth. Lilly was replaced by Octavio Dotel, who promptly gave up a home run to Pat Burrell, cutting the Dodgers’ lead to 4-3.

After Dotel walked Freddy Sanchez, Kuo was brought in for Dotel. He ended the inning by getting Huff and Posey out on just six pitches.

Instead of staying with Kuo to pitch the ninth, Torre went with Broxton in the ninth.

Broxton struck out Jose Guillen before giving up a single to Cody Ross. Then Juan Uribe hammered a 1-0 pitch deep over the wall in left-center, and the Giants went on to win 6-5.

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For the highlight, go to:
http://mlb.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=11722855

Broxton finished the season 5-6 with a 4.04 ERA.

Against the Giants, he was 0-3 with a 20.00 ERA.

There were two pitchers who the Giants managed to beat three times during the 2010 regular season. Roy Oswalt was one of them. Broxton was the other.

manlove.jpegAnd while we passing out gratitude to Broxton, we should share some for Joe Torre, who had some serious man-love for Broxton. Torre kept going to Broxton, when it was clear he wasn’t very effective in the second half of the season, and when Kuo was a far better option.

Let’s review. On June 26, Broxton was 3-0 with 16 saves and an 0.83 ERA. He finished the year 5-6 with 22 saves and a 4.04 ERA.

So thanks Joe. And we should also thank Don Mattingly and George Sherrill for their contributions.

The Top 10 List of Non-Giants Who Should Be on Every Giants Fans Christmas Card List:

No. 3, Larry Beinfest

No. 4, Cliff Lee

No. 5, Chase Utley

No. 6, Andrew Friedman and Neil Huntington

No. 7, Roy Oswalt

No. 8, Bud Black

No. 9, Paul Emmel

No. 10,

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