Is Broxton Ready to Close?

Jonathan Broxton, the Dodgers' fire-balling setup man whose stuff is more prototypical of a closer than that of Takashi Saito, is Saito's heir apparent to the closer's role. But if Sunday was any indication, Broxton is a long way from being ready to take over.

With Saito unavailable for the third day in a row because of a severe case of flu, manager Joe Torre called on Broxton to pitch both the eighth and ninth innings and protect a 3-1 lead. Instead, Broxton came unglued, giving up singles to six of the first seven batters he faced before Torre came to get him.

Broxton wound up getting charged with six earned runs in just one-third of an inning. That tripled the previous total of runs that had been scored against him this season, and his ERA ballooned from 1.80 to 5.28.

After the game, Torre tried to mitigate Broxton's lackluster outing by pointing out that it was the first time he had pitched in five days.

"They just hit me all the other way," Broxton said. "It wasn't like they were hitting me hard or anything. They were just pecking away one batter at a time. Any day is tough when they're hitting you. But you're going to have days like that and days also when they're just crushing the ball. It's just part of baseball."

Notes, Quotes
--RHP Jason Schmidt finally made his first rehabilitation start for Single-A Inland Empire at Lancaster. He threw 12 pitches in a perfect first inning. It was Schmidt's first appearance in an actual game since he underwent shoulder surgery last June.

--3B Nomar Garciaparra, who has been on the 15-day disabled list for the past two weeks with a strained left calf, will accompany the team to Milwaukee and take part in an early workout before Tuesday's game. After that, Garciaparra might be ready to begin a brief rehab assignment, probably with Class-AAA Las Vegas. Torre allowed for the possibility that Garciaparra could simply be activated without a rehab, but that didn't sound likely.

--OF Andre Ethier, starting for the first time in three days and just the second time on the homestand, went 3 for 5, his fourth three-hit game of the season. He had as many hits in this game as he had in his previous five. Ethier is hitting .354 against right-handers this season and .172 against lefties.

--3B Blake DeWitt continues to defy logic. He went 3-for-4 with a double, raising his average to .323 with his third three-hit game of the season. The rookie also scored two runs and continued to make a case for why he should remain in the everyday lineup even after Garciaparra returns from the DL.

--1B James Loney hit a two-run homer in the first inning, and it would have been a three-run blast if Matt Kemp hadn't gotten thrown out trying to steal second with Ethier on third. Loney batted .350 (7-for-20) on the homestand, with that home run and three doubles. He also has a five-game hitting streak.

By the Numb3rs 16 -- seasons since the Houston Astros swept a series at Dodger Stadium, something they did over the weekend by holding the Dodgers to a combined six runs over the three games. Of those six runs, half of them scored in innings that started with the Dodgers trailing by at least five runs. The Astros shut out the Dodgers on Saturday night, their first shutout victory at Chavez Ravine since 1993.

Quote to Note: "(My) young children were my motivation to continue on. I was at home playing with them, and it struck me: What else can I do? I have to support those kids." -- Dodgers reliever Yhency Brazoban, speaking through an interpreter, admitting over the weekend that he thought his career was over when he went down for the season with a torn labrum last summer, barely a week after he returned from Tommy John surgery.

*M*A*S*H* 4077 Report
SS Rafael Furcal (lower back tightness) was scratched from the lineup May 6 and didn't play May 7-11. He is day-to-day.

RHP Esteban Loaiza (tightness and spasms in right shoulder blade) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to May 4.

3B Nomar Garciaparra (strained right calf) went on the 15-day disabled list April 26. He is expected to work out with the team on May 12 and could be sent on a rehab assignment at Class AAA Las Vegas.

RHP Jason Schmidt (right shoulder surgery in June 2007) opened the season on the 15-day disabled list. He was finally released to a rehab assignment on May 11 and he is expected to be in the minors the full 30 days allotted.

INF Tony Abreu (sore groin) opened the season on the 15-day disabled list. He reported to extended spring training in Vero Beach, Fla., in early April.
Player Stats

     HITTERS

Gary Bennett, C
                    BA    AB     R     H    2B    3B    HR   RBI    SB
Last Game         .000     1     0     0     0     0     0     0     0
Last 7 Games      .133    15     0     2     0     0     0     0     0
Season            .133    15     0     2     0     0     0     0     0

Andre Ethier, RF
                    BA    AB     R     H    2B    3B    HR   RBI    SB
Last Game         .000     4     0     0     0     0     0     0     0
Last 7 Games      .200    25     5     5     0     0     1     2     1
Season            .291   103    19    30     7     0     3    15     2

Rafael Furcal, SS
                    BA    AB     R     H    2B    3B    HR   RBI    SB
Last Game         .250     4     1     1     0     0     1     1     0
Last 7 Games      .375    32    12    12     2     0     2     5     2
Season            .366   134    34    49    12     2     5    16     8

Nomar Garciaparra, 3B
                    BA    AB     R     H    2B    3B    HR   RBI    SB
Last Game         .200     5     1     1     0     0     0     1     0
Last 7 Games      .240    25     6     6     0     0     1     5     1
Season            .226    31     6     7     0     0     1     5     1

Chin-lung Hu, SS
                    BA    AB     R     H    2B    3B    HR   RBI    SB
Last Game         .333     3     0     1     0     0     0     0     0
Last 7 Games      .176    17     0     3     1     0     0     1     0
Season            .222    45     5    10     1     0     0     4     1

Andruw Jones, CF
                    BA    AB     R     H    2B    3B    HR   RBI    SB
Last Game         .000     3     0     0     0     0     0     0     0
Last 7 Games      .208    24     3     5     3     0     0     0     0
Season            .170   112    16    19     6     1     1     4     0

Matt Kemp, RF
                    BA    AB     R     H    2B    3B    HR   RBI    SB
Last Game         .250     4     0     1     0     0     0     0     0
Last 7 Games      .308    26     3     8     1     0     1     4     3
Season            .315   124    19    39     8     2     3    25     9

Jeff Kent, 2B
                    BA    AB     R     H    2B    3B    HR   RBI    SB
Last Game         .000     4     0     0     0     0     0     0     0
Last 7 Games      .120    25     2     3     0     1     0     2     0
Season            .252   111    13    28     6     1     3    18     0

James Loney, 1B
                    BA    AB     R     H    2B    3B    HR   RBI    SB
Last Game         .500     2     0     1     1     0     0     0     0
Last 7 Games      .360    25     2     9     4     0     1     6     0
Season            .287   136    15    39     9     1     3    25     1

Russell Martin, C
                    BA    AB     R     H    2B    3B    HR   RBI    SB
Last Game         .000     3     0     0     0     0     0     0     0
Last 7 Games      .238    21     3     5     0     0     0     3     1
Season            .286   119    20    34     5     0     3    14     3

Juan Pierre, CF
                    BA    AB     R     H    2B    3B    HR   RBI    SB
Last Game         .000     4     0     0     0     0     0     0     1
Last 7 Games      .280    25     4     7     1     0     0     2     6
Season            .282    85    10    24     4     0     0    12    13

Delwyn Young, LF
                    BA    AB     R     H    2B    3B    HR   RBI    SB
Last Game         .000     1     0     0     0     0     0     0     0
Last 7 Games      .143     7     0     1     0     0     0     0     0
Season            .300    20     0     6     0     0     0     2     0


    PITCHERS

Joe Beimel
                   ERA     W-L    Sv     G    IP     H    HR    BB    K
Last Game         0.00     0-0     0     1     1     0     0     0    1
Last 7 Games      0.00     0-0     0     3     3     0     0     1    2
Season            0.69     3-0     0    19    13    11     0     4   10

Chad Billingsley
                   ERA     W-L    Sv     G    IP     H    HR    BB     K
Last Game         7.20     0-1     0     1     5     6     0     2     4
Last 7 Games      3.00     2-1     0     3    18    14     0    10    16
Season            4.89     2-5     0     9  38.2    38     2    23    48

Yhency Brazoban
                   ERA     W-L    Sv     G    IP     H    HR    BB     K
Last Game         0.00     0-0     0     1     1     1     0     2     0
Last 7 Games      0.00     0-0     0     1     1     1     0     2     0
Season            0.00     0-0     0     1     1     1     0     2     0

Jonathan Broxton
                   ERA     W-L    Sv     G    IP     H    HR    BB     K
Last Game         0.00     0-0     0     1     1     1     0     0     2
Last 7 Games      0.00     0-0     0     3   3.1     1     0     0     5
Season            1.80     1-0     0    14    15     9     0     6    21

Hong-Chih Kuo
                   ERA     W-L    Sv     G    IP     H    HR    BB     K
Last Game         0.00     1-0     0     1   3.2     0     0     1     8
Last 7 Games      0.96     2-0     0     3   9.1     5     1     2    17
Season            2.59     2-1     0     8  24.1    19     2     9    33

Hiroki Kuroda
                   ERA     W-L    Sv     G    IP     H    HR    BB     K
Last Game         5.40     0-0     0     1   3.1     8     1     3     1
Last 7 Games      5.51     0-0     0     3  16.1    22     2     5     7
Season            3.95     1-2     0     7    41    48     5    11    21

Esteban Loaiza
                   ERA     W-L    Sv     G    IP     H    HR    BB     K
Last Game        19.29     0-0     0     1   2.1     5     1     1     0
Last 7 Games      7.84     0-0     0     3  10.1    14     2     3     3
Season            5.63     1-2     0     7    24    24     3     5     9

Derek Lowe
                   ERA     W-L    Sv     G    IP     H    HR    BB     K
Last Game        10.13     0-1     0     1   5.1     8     1     2     5
Last 7 Games      8.22     0-2     0     3  15.1    22     2     7    10
Season            4.43     2-3     0     8  44.2    51     4    13    30

Brad Penny
                   ERA     W-L    Sv     G    IP     H    HR    BB     K
Last Game        19.29     0-1     0     1   4.2    10     0     3     2
Last 7 Games      8.64     2-1     0     3  16.2    17     2     9     5
Season            4.79     5-3     0     8    47    52     2    17    22

Scott Proctor
                   ERA     W-L    Sv     G    IP     H    HR    BB     K
Last Game         9.00     0-0     0     1     1     2     0     1     0
Last 7 Games     12.00     0-0     0     3     3     7     1     3     4
Season            6.11     0-0     0    17  17.2    19     4     9    16

Takashi Saito
                   ERA     W-L    Sv     G    IP     H    HR    BB     K
Last Game         0.00     0-0     1     1     1     2     0     0     1
Last 7 Games      0.00     0-0     1     3     3     3     0     1     2
Season            1.76     1-1     5    14  15.1    13     1     5    16

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