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by Ben Burns - 05/10/2010
Bad Beats: Ethier's blast stings under players
All right, fess up. Who did it?
Late Thursday night, someone out there in the betting stratosphere burped the magic words: “As long as the Dodgers don’t hit a walk-off grand slam ...”
Whoever you are, every player out there that had under 9.5 in the L.A.-Milwaukee game would like to say a not-so-sincere thanks a freaking lot.
We’ll pick things up in the top of seventh, with the Dodgers leading the Brewers 3-0. Dodger starter John Ely was cruising, having retired 15 straight batters. The Brewers finally broke through against him in the seventh, with Prince Fielder scoring on a Greg Zaun single.
Dodger manager Joe Torre told Ely good job and turned the game over to his bullpen.
Heading into the ninth, the Dodgers maintained their 3-1 lead, making it Jonathan Broxton time. That, in most cases, means lights out for opponents. Last season, Broxton had 114 strikeouts in 76 innings, by far the most of any reliever. He also blew only six of 42 save opportunities. Needless to say, if Torre hands the ball over to Broxton with the lead, Dodger fans have to be feeling pretty good.
But this wasn’t his night. The Brewers rallied for two runs off of Broxton, tying the score and sending it to the ninth. Still, with the total set at 9.5, under players were in great shape.
Even after the Dodgers loaded the bases with one out, all under players needed was a weak sac fly from Andre Ethier to cash; anything, but a grand slam.
That’s when one of you yahoos put the kabash on all of us. Bang. Game over. Final score: Dodgers 7, Brewers 3.
In some ways, we should have seen it coming. The grand slam was Ethier’s second game-ending hit of the season and 11th since the start of the 2008 season. That’s the most in baseball, according to ESPN. Ethier has been up twice with the bases loaded this season and hit grams slams both times.