MLB Analysis: Dodgers Ethier & Broxton, Twins Liriano’s No-Hitter

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Andre Ethier singled to right field in the fourth inning of Tuesday night’s game against Ryan Dempster of the Chicago Cubs, extending his hit streak to 29 games tying him with Zack Wheat for the second-longest hitting streak in franchise history. (Wheat’s streak came with the Brooklyn Robins in 1916. The franchise record of 31 was set by Willie Davis in 1969.)

Ethier’s streak took a back seat however as Los Angeles Dodgers fans had something else to get emotional about, and it wasn’t good. It was eight consecutive balls thrown by the Dodgers’ closer, Jonathan Broxton, in the ninth inning that triggered thunderous boos throughout Dodger Stadium. In a 1-1 game, after getting the first out in the ninth inning, Broxton walked Marlon Byrd and Carlos Pena on four pitches each. Manager Don Mattingly replaced his struggling closer with Blake Hawksworth who got an out, then gave up a Geovany Soto two-out hit to right-center on a 1-2 pitch. Former Dodger Blake DeWitt followed with a pinch-hit RBI single and the Dodgers lost 4-1. 

Since becoming the Dodgers’ regular closer in July 2008, Broxton has saved 60 games in which he got the ball to start the ninth inning. He has allowed at least one baserunner in 34 of those appearances, and had only one perfect inning in which he had three strikeouts. There is enough of a sample here to see that despite how hard Broxton throws, he is not closer material. If he’s going to continue to close games, it’s going to be in another uniform. And with the size of this guys butt, a big uniform it shall be.

Nelson Liriano’s No-No Not So Impressive

Let’s not go crazy here, the guy walked six and struck out two. Yes, it was a no-hitter but Liriano’s game score was 83, tying Lefty Chambers for lowest ever in a no-hitter.

How’d Liriano do it? “Because the White Sox are really bad this year.” – Bobby Valentine on @ESPN‘s Sports Center

On the positive side of things, it was a 1-0 win and not many no-hitters are thrown with the game on the line with every pitch the entire way.

The Twins have absolutely been devastated with injuries this year and have gone games with Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau and Delmon Young all out of the lineup while closer Joe Nathan tries to regain his form after surgery as a middle reliever. Perhaps this league low 10th win will jumpstart those who are left to take the field on a daily basis.

Nelson Cruz Having Leg Problems AGAIN

Texas Rangers outfielder, Nelson Cruz, who enticed both Rangers fans and Fantasy Baseball owners with his on field performance the past few years, was forced to leave Tuesday night’s game against the Seattle Mariners with a tight right quadriceps.

Cruz had three DL stints last year with hamstring strains and will be re-evaluated on Wednesday, but said he was optimistic it won’t cause him to miss long-term time in the lineup. Cruz said he felt like he stretched the quad “pretty good” while running out a grounder in the fourth inning and turning it into a close play at first. He felt it again in the outfield.

“I couldn’t do much with it when I got off the field, but after treatment, it feels much better,” Cruz said. “If it keeps going that way, hopefully I can play [Wednesday], I’m not frustrated. I just want to perform. With our offensive situation right now, the last thing I want to do is get hurt.”

Cruz tried playing through early-season hamstring soreness last year, but after a week of being used judiciously, he still had to go on the DL. It was the first of three trips to the DL last year. The injuries limited him to 108 games. Cruz also had a strained right quadriceps in 2008 while with Triple-A Oklahoma City. It forced him to miss 18 days.

Nelson ca’mon now, you are killing my Fantasy team! Change your diet, your daily routine, your sex life, something. Geeeze….