Brewers remain confident in Broxton
PHILADELPHIA -- Veteran reliever Jonathan Broxton will continue to pitch in meaningful situations for the Brewers, manager Craig Counsell said Thursday after Milwaukee overcame a seventh-inning letdown to beat the Phillies, 8-7, in 11 innings at Citizens Bank Park.
Broxton inherited a three-run lead and was charged with the first two of three Phillies' runs in the frame, forcing the teams into extra innings. The one-third-inning outing boosted Broxton's ERA to 7.20, and his batting average against to .311.
"We've tried to get him going, and I thought tonight was a good inning for him [in terms of the matchups]," Counsell said. "We're still trying to get him going, and we still need to get him going.
"He's still important. With him going, that's when the bullpen really looks tough to me. So he's still going to pitch, and he's still going to pitch innings that are important and innings that we need him."
Despite a $9 million salary this season and a $2 million buyout of his 2016 option, Broxton should be a tradable commodity for the Brewers should they opt to sell later this month at the Trade Deadline. And Broxton has shown positive signs of late, holding the opponent scoreless -- and hitless -- in three of his previous four outings. On Monday, he struck out Phillies catcher Cameron Rupp to strand an inherited runner in a Brewers win. In the outing before, he needed only four pitches for a 1-2-3 ninth inning in a 10-4 win over the Twins.
Thursday presented a challenge. Phillies second baseman Cesar Hernandez led off with a single before Maikel Franco lined out to left field, where Gerardo Parra made a nice sliding catch. That brought up Ryan Howard, who fell into a 1-2 count, but got enough of a 95 mph fastball on the outer half of home plate to hit a run-scoring double off the left-center field wall.
Broxton said it was a bad miss, saying catcher Jonathan Lucroy was set-up for a pitch inside.
With only one out, Broxton made way for left-hander Will Smith and watched the next three Phillies reach safely as well. Ben Revere plated a run charged to Broxton with a single, and two batters later Freddy Galvis hit another single to tie the game at 7.