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Big League Stew

Dodgers let game slip under (and fly over) their gloves

Rob Iracane
Big League Stew

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Former Texas Rangers president Tom Schieffer,  just selected to be the league-appointed trustee of the Los Angeles Dodgers, had to see at least one glaring mistake on his first day in charge: The team's  defense.

But will he report it back to Bud? The Dodgers wasted a good start by Jon Garland on Monday night and blew a late lead to the Florida Marlins with two costly ninth-inning defensive mishaps, losing the game 5-4.

Perhaps Schieffer's first order of business should be calling up Dick's Sporting Goods and ordering some new gloves for the fielders?

With two outs in the ninth, the bases empty, and Los Angeles clinging to a one-run lead, Dodgers closer Jonathan Broxton allowed the Marlins' rally to begin by walking Emilio Bonifacio. A slumping Hanley Ramirez followed with a pinch-hit single, moving the eventual tying run to third.

But still needing just one more out, Broxton coaxed a ground ball out of Scott Cousins that was so weak and so easy you'd think even the most stone-handed, slow-footed shortstop could field it with ease.

Jamey Carroll, normally a versatile utility infielder with years of experience under his belt, let the slow chopper sneak under his glove after three hops and roll lazily into the outfield, plating the tying run. Carroll could only throw his head back in disgust and turn around to watch the ball sneak away. {YSP:MORE}

See Carroll's error at the 1:05 mark here.

Broxton then intentionally walked Chris Coghlan, who earlier smacked two home runs off Garland, to load the bases for Omar Infante. Needing just three balls to end the game on a walkoff walk, Infante instead laced a sharp line drive to left fielder (and 23-year-old rookie) Jerry Sands.

Alas, Sands' first instinct was to take a step in but the ball soared over his outstretched glove to the wall, giving Infante an RBI single and the Marlins the game. (See the walkoff single here.)

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Shame that this mental mistake stained an otherwise successful game for Sands (3 for 4, double, RBI, stolen base) and Carroll (2 for 4, run, RBI, stolen base). But defense matters. Carroll and Sands must have both had restless nights with visions of baseballs sailing over and under their gloves.

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