Broadway Having Strong Second Half

Considering the struggles he faced at the plate and a lingering ankle injury, the first half of the 2007 season was one worth forgetting for Larry Broadway. Now that he is fully healthy, Broadway has done a 180º since the All-Star break, becoming one of the Clippers' most consistent hitters of the past few weeks.

Several Clippers, including Brandon Watson and Melvin Dorta, have been red hot since the second half began, but no other Clipper has been able to turn things around for himself during the second half like Larry Broadway. After a disastrous first half, Broadway is batting .327 since the break. Broadway couldn't pinpoint one reason as to why he has been so consistent, but he told on Friday that his ability to be patient during his at-bats and hit the ball to the opposite field has been a big key to his resurgence.

"When I've been at my best, it's always been when I've been able to hit the ball the other way," Broadway said. "The first part of the year I wasn't doing that at all. I'm still not doing it as well as I'd like to, but it's coming around. I've just been feeling a little better. I've spread out a little bit. I've tried to really just bear down each pitch, and try to get good pitches to hit. I've been walking a lot and working the count a lot. It's just kind of clicking a little bit."

In addition to these adjustments, Broadway has finally started to find some success against left-handers. For most of the season, the first baseman's average against left-handers was well under .100, but lately Broadway said he has been focusing on his persistence at the plate against southpaws.

"Historically in my career, I've always hit lefties better," Broadway said. "So it's been weird this year struggling so bad against them. It's been better now and really more about taking what they give you and not trying to do too much with pitches. Lefty on lefty, they're trying to trick you most of the time and not just coming right at you with heaters. It's really a matter of bearing down, not trying to do too much with pitches or hit homers on sliders down and away, but just taking them to left field."

Going into spring training, expectations were high for Broadway, especially considering the successful year he had with Triple-A New Orleans last year. He didn't make the major league squad in the spring, and his slow start to the year only added insult to injury. Before he could begin to turn things around, Broadway went down with a sprained right ankle on May 1 and spent over five weeks on the DL. Having never dealt with ankle injuries in the past, Broadway struggled to gauge his recovery.

"This was the first one I've had and it was a weird one, not a typical ankle injury," Broadway said. "It was hard to know when it was going to feel better. It was hard to know what I could do on it until I did it to where it hurt. It hurt for awhile even when I came back. It's finally gone away for the most part and I'm able to get the most out of my legs as I can."

Clippers manager John Stearns commented on Broadway's unfortunate injury and the disappointing first half Broadway experienced.

"His whole first half was really consumed by this injury," Stearns said. "He started out and played about two or three weeks and then got hurt. Then he had to start out again. It was a strange injury. He was just up hitting and rolled his ankle. Now that he's back, he's coming on strong."

Amazingly, despite the injury, Broadway leads the Clippers in walks. Stearns, who is known for preaching plate discipline to his players, said he is happy with that part of Broadway's game and is upbeat about the rest of his first baseman's season.

"He's got a real good eye up there and good strike zone recognition," Stearns said. "I think he'll make it all the way back and over .250. There was a long time where he was way down, but I'm pleased with the way he's playing right now. He's working deep counts and showing me that he can use both fields."

Because the game of baseball can be such a strain on the psyche of a struggling hitter, it would have seemed likely for Broadway to get down on himself during the first half. However, Broadway said he stayed fairly optimistic throughout.

"I knew at some point that something had to give," Broadway said. "It wasn't going to keep going downhill the whole year. It was just a matter of time. I was trying to get my work in and have an approach up there to be mentally ready every at-bat."

Given his lack of at-bats, Broadway's 7 HR and 29 RBI are respectable, but Stearns said that Broadway will have to swing the bat for some more power in order to find himself playing first base with Washington. With his 6'4" 230-pound frame, there is plenty of potential for power every time Broadway steps into the batter's box, and those power numbers may eventually come around with more at-bats.

Now with the second half of the season into full swing, Broadway hopes to continue his post-All-Star break success, and he told us what he plans to do at the plate over the rest of the season.

"If I get what I want, attack it. If not, wait for something better. If I get to two strikes, just battle and hit it the other way, bloop something in if I can. It's really about not giving away at-bats and not giving away pitches in at-bats."

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