I just saw a report on the Division Series by ESPN's Pedro Gomez that Takashi Saito claims his right elbow is just fine. That's been in question since last night when he faced 3 batters in the 9th with a 10-1 lead, and promptly gave up 3 hard hit balls before getting yanked. So, eyebrows are understandably raised.
Look, it's not like he gave up hits to some scrubs. Getting lit up by Derek Lee, Aramis Ramirez, and even Mark DeRosa isn't exactly out of the ordinary. What hurts Saito is that the first 17 innings of Games 1 and 2 have been FLAWLESS by the Dodgers. Anything negative gets highlighted even more.
Even though Jonathan Broxton has pitched the last 2 games, I would think he'll be the one closing out the game if need be on Saturday night. That's how lousy Saito looked. If the guy says he's fine, then I guess everyone needs to take his word for it. But, Broxton is clearly more prepared to assume the closer's role at this point. That seems the most logical solution to me, and probably many others as well...
So of course, about a few minutes after I wrote this, Joe Torre gave word that he's not ready to give up on Saito in the 9th just yet. I'm not surprised, and would somewhat agree that it's not the right thing to do to totally give up on him. Still, if it's a one run game in the 9th with the heart of the Cubs order due up, who would you rather see in right now? I gotta go with Broxton.