Indians 6, Dodgers 4

After the boys rallied for two in the eighth and two in the ninth to erase a 4-0 deficit, this smelled a lot like the sort of emotional victory that could have turned their season around, especially with Arizona having already lost. But after they left the bases loaded in the ninth, and after Takashi Saito gave up two in the 10th, it smacked of the sort of game that could send them reeling. Only time will tell. At any rate, the Dodgers left 11 men on base, eight of them in scoring position and five of them at third base. Juan Pierre was stranded at third base three times, including as the potential winning run in the ninth. Dodgers fall to 34-39 and remain 4 1/2 back.

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  • KevinS

    Tony… Help me please to understand Torre’s philosophy of using the closer in the ninth inning of a tie ballgame? It’s automatic for Joe to do this as he has done each time the situation has risen. Is this the “closers” role? I thought this would be best suited for Broxton or even Kuo to pitch in. I know hindsight is 20/20, but sometimes it seems that Sammy actually NEEDS that save situation to be on his game at times. Any ideas? Thanks again, and as mentioned earlier… great blog!

  • Tony Jackson

    That’s a very common trait among closers, that they often don’t pitch well in non-save situations. I’m sure it’s some kind of psychological thing, where they just don’t have the same focus or sharpness when the game isn’t on the line. BTW, not to nitpick, but it was the 10th, not the ninth. Don’t worry, I make PLENTY of those little mistakes on this blog all the time, and someone usually points it out when I do.

  • KevinS

    Ooops… my bad… but can you answer my question please?

    Why do you feel that Torre uses Sammy in the tenth inning of non-save situations so often this season? Especially when we could use Saito when we need him later that same game should we go ahead? Why not put a guy out there who might be needed for multiple innings rather than waste your closer in a tie ballgame? I don’t get the philosophy on that situation and am trying to understand Joe Torre better… thanks!

  • KevinS

    I’m speaking specifically of tenth inning, tie ballgame situations. Torre’s run Saito out there almost each time that has happened this season I believe… IMO, that’s not the closer’s role… thanks!!

  • Tony Jackson

    When you’re the home team, it’s mathematically impossible to have a save situation after you go to the bottom of the ninth either tied or trailing. If you go off the theory that your closer is your best reliever, you generally use him to get through the 10th and try to keep the game tied.