It wasn’t pretty in the ninth inning slugfest between Ryan Franklin and Jonathan Broxton. The game between the Cardinals and Dodgers was 0-0 going into the ninth inning. Both teams deployed their closers and the game ended 2-1. It’s fair to say that Trevor Miller entered the ninth for the Cardinals and promptly gave up a double to Andre Either. SO Crazy Eyes La Russa brought in his crack closer with the tying run on second rather than enter the ninth with nobody on. I guess when La Russa is mad, he is just going to hand it to you. The end result wasn’t good for Franklin, who already blew a save earlier in the week. He not only allowed the inherited runner to score, but through a flat fastball to Matt Kemp that he deposited into the seats for a walk-off two-run home run.
That is Franklin’s fourth blown save in five chances. His ERA is in the stratosphere at 11.57 and his WHIP is enough to make you throw up in your mouth as 2.14. Whatever Franklin had last year is gone. Maybe the devil is coming to collect his soul, but whatever has happened to Franklin is straight out of a fiction story. After saving 65 of 72 games over the past two years, Franklin looks lost out there and is just not hitting his spots. I’m going to assume that at 37, Franklin’s age has caught up with him and so has his luck. It’s also important to remember that Franklin was suspended for 10 games back in 2005 for MLB’s steroids policy. Could he have been using something-something in 2009 or 2010. Who knows. The bottom-line, Franklin isn’t a closer and no matter what La Russa says, he can’t seriously put Franklin on the mound for the next save chance. Look for Miguel Batista to get the first shot at the closer job, but don’t leave out the guy that is the Cardinal closer for 2012 and will likely get his shot this year, Jason Motte. I know what La Russa says, but nothing can be worse than what Franklin has done. Batista has 41 career saves and at age 39 has posted a 1.29 ERA in seven innings this season. Mitchell Boggs is also mentioned for the job. I think you have to try Motte. I know most feel that Batista and Boggs have more experience, but Boggs makes a great setup man and Batista just isn’t a viable option at closer.
Inthe other half of that game was Jonathan Broxton, who gave up the go ahead run in the top of the ninth. It wasn’t has bad as it looks on paper. Broxton went through the toughest part of a hot lineup and after getting the first two outs, he gave up a double to red hot Matt Holiday. Then he was told to intentionally walked the lefty Berkman to face hot David Freese, who got the two-out single on a bloop. Broxton isn’t perfect and he isn’t the closer he was two seasons ago, but he’s not pitching as bad as some may thinking. unless you blow 4 saves to open the season, you can’t look too deep in to April numbers.