By the skin of his teeth, Jonathan Broxton picked up his sixth save Friday after allowing one run in the ninth against the Padres.
Staying true to his word, manager Don Mattingly used Vicente Padilla in the eighth and saved Broxton for the ninth in a 3-1 game against the Padres.
It started out well enough, as Broxton got the first two batters he faced. However, he then allowed three straight singles, the first a flare into right and the next two grounders through the infield.
That brought up Nick Hundley, who hit a wicked liner into left field that certainly would been a go-ahead double if not for Mattingly’s decision to stick Tony Gwynn Jr. out there to begin the ninth. Gwynn made a terrific diving catch, ending the game.
Broxton was hitting 92-94 mph on the TV gun tonight, though Vin Scully was being fed 94-96 mph readings to the booth. He’s not spotting the fastball well at all, so he figures to remain very shaky for a while longer. As hard as Broxton had to work tonight, it’d be no surprise if the Dodgers bypassed him tomorrow and reserved Padilla for the ninth.
During the offseason, the Astros finally got rid of Tal’s Hill in center field. It was a throwback to older stadiums, some of which had uneven topography — Crosley Field, namely. As unique as it was in the age of cookie cutter sports stadiums, most of us were holding our collective breaths hoping no one ruptured an Achilles or suffered another brutal injury trying to navigate the hill while attempting to catch a fly ball.
We saw what it looked like during reconstruction:
And now, via Julia Morales of ROOT Sports, we see what it looks like after all the work has been done:
The Astros are allowing fans with Lexus Field Club tickets to stand on the new warning track to watch batting practice and shag fly balls as well, Morales notes. Lexus Field Club is where Tal’s Hill used to be.
Good riddance, Tal’s Hill.
Jhoulys Chacin will start on Opening Day, April 3 against the Dodgers in Los Angeles, Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. It will be Chacin’s second Opening Day start, the other coming in 2013 with the Rockies against the Brewers. He’ll be the fifth different Padres pitcher in as many years to start on Opening Day.
Chacin, 29, inked a one-year, $1.75 million contract with the Padres in December. The right-hander spent the 2016 season with the Braves and Angels, compiling an aggregate 4.81 ERA with a 119/55 K/BB ratio in 144 innings.
Lin notes that Chacin will be followed in the rotation by Clayton Richard and Jered Weaver. It will be an interesting rotation, to say the least, as it will arguably be the worst in baseball.