2009 NLCS…Deja Vu for Broxton (and me)
Torture is a word that doesn’t come close to describing game four of the 2009 NLCS. Once again the Los Angeles Dodgers found themselves down 2-1 in the series to the Philadelphia Phillies. Needing a crucial win to tie the series and stave off elimination.
Once again it was Jonathan Broxton on the mound with the game on the line. It was the bottom of the ninth, Broxton just needed three outs to erase the memories of his game four failure from the year before. Broxton never got that last out.
The first batter Broxton faced he got out, next came Matt Stairs his nemesis from the year before. Stairs was a different batter in 2009, after hitting .252 with 21 home runs in 2008, in 2009 as a pinch-hitter he was he was a .151 hitter with only 5 home runs.
Perhaps thinking of 2008, Broxton walked Stairs, putting a runner on first base. Rattled or perhaps unfocused, Broxton proceeded to hit the next batter Carlos Ruiz. After getting another out, Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins came up to the plate.
On the third pitch of the at-bat, Rollins lined a straight fastball into the gap scoring both runs ending the game, effectively the series, and the Dodgers season. The death knell came on the Rollins hit, but if Broxton takes down Matt Stairs it wouldn’t have come down to Jimmy Rollins.