And With That, Torre Has Worn Out His Welcome

I can’t say much. I was at last night’s game. It sucked. Omnipresent Yankees fans cheered loudly, often insulting the Dodger players and as much as I wanted to point out how ridiculous that was, it seemed pointless. They were only pouring salt on the wounds.

Joe Torre has officially worn out his welcome. He pitched Broxton four of the past five games and even had him warm up in the one game he didn’t pitch him. Broxton clearly didn’t have his best stuff (batters were able to foul off his slider enough times to sit on a fastball that wasn’t breaking quite as hard as usual).

Broxton's pitch chart 6-27-10

Yep. The only ones in play were the fastballs. I knew that and I was sitting in the stands.

So Torre kept him out there, despite this, for 50 pitches and let him give up the lead.

Then he brought in Troncoso and Sherrill in the 10th and lost the game.

Shit.

I mean, smart money says give Broxton the ball if/when the game is within two runs. Start with Troncoso or Sherrill, if you’re going to use them, and give them two batters at most each.

But the main problem, c’mon man. Why was Broxton even used yesterday? Sure, it was a great moment, but the dude needed rest. The Dodgers had a 5-run lead. Seemed silly. It was.

You will know Joe Torre by his trail of dead arms. The bullpen’s been awful all season and only Brox and Kuo have been good, but that’s because the bullpen’s better parts have been worn down in use because of Torre. Troncoso, Cory Wade and Ronald Belisario were all better than average relievers who were used on back-to-back games repeatedly. The three of them burned out.

Josh at Dodgers Divorce suggested Torre may be one of the few managers who “gets it” some months ago on Twitter, that bullpen arms are expendable while elite starters need to be looked out for with express care. That’s a fine argument, so long as you have an endless supply of strong relief arms. The Dodgers learned the lesson the Yankees learned a few years ago: if you’re gonna burn one or two relief arms every year, that’s one fewer relief arm you’ll have next season. Pretty soon, you’re not gonna have a bullpen.

I don’t know what happens next, but I’m hoping for a graceful exit by Torre and the hiring of someone with a better bullpen sensibility. Someone’s gotta be out there, right?

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