Jonathan Broxton, the Dodgers closer, pitched twice this weekend: On Saturday, when he recorded four outs with a five-run lead, and last night, when — with very little left in the tank — he threw 48 pitches and allowed the Yankees to rally from four runs down to tie the score. Joe Torre explained after last night’s game that using Broxton in non-save situations was necessary because the Yankees are such a dangerous team — he brought in Broxton to face Derek Jeter on Saturday with two out and two men on in the eighth — but to Yankee fans who remember the Scott Proctor era, it’s just nice to be on the other side of some good ol’ Joe Torre bullpen overuse for a change.
After Broxton struck out Mark Teixeira to lead off the ninth, five-straight Yankees reached base, capped by Chad Huffman’s two-run single. The next batter, Colin Curtis, would ground out to first, allowing Curtis Granderson to score the tying run when James Loney stepped on first before throwing home in hopes of a game-ending double play. Robinson Cano’s two-run homer an inning later may have been the least surprising aspect of the whole darn comeback.
Yesterday wasn’t Andy Pettitte’s finest hour — the Dodgers bunted three consecutive times in the third inning, and Pettitte committed a throwing error on two of them — but the bullpen was solid behind him, allowing just four hits and one run in five innings of work. And though Joe Girardi would be wise to stop using Mariano Rivera for two innings at a time, his gamble paid off for the second time in a week: Cano’s home run — like Granderson’s in Arizona on Wednesday — allowed Rivera to close out his own win in the tenth after pitching a scoreless ninth in a tie game.
The win gave the Yankees another series victory — CC Sabathia cruised on Friday, and A.J. Burnett was rocked on Saturday (at least Dave Eiland will be back soon) — but despite a series that saw Alex Rodriguez finally greet his former manager yesterday, they had one of the less eventful weekends in the AL East. Boston won two games in San Francisco but lost three key players — Dustin Pedroia, Clay Buckholz, and Victor Martinez — to injury, while the Rays were no-hit for the third time in a twelve months on Friday, then saw two of their young stars exchange words in the dugout after Evan Longoria questioned B.J Upton’s effort in the field. Those Rays: always so much drama with them.