Dodgers skipper has faith in Broxton

Dodgers skipper has faith in Broxton

SAN FRANCISCO -- Dodgers manager Joe Torre issued a vote of confidence for All-Star closer Jonathan Broxton after they met Sunday.

"I'm not bypassing Jonathan at this point in time," Torre said. "He needs from us to have confidence that we're here for him. He needs to get his personality back."

The meeting came one day after Broxton gave up a game-losing home run to Pat Burrell, only hours after the team acquired Pittsburgh closer Octavio Dotel.

Torre said he was satisfied Broxton is healthy, despite decreased fastball velocity. Instead, Torre suggested that Broxton is suffering from the same problem that plagued Chad Billingsley earlier in the year -- thinking too much instead of just trusting his stuff and firing.

"We talked today. I asked about him physically and he said he's fine," said Torre. "I talked to him about Billingsley trying to throw strikes. That's not something a closer is supposed to do. I was relieved to get the answer I did. He needs to just get a good one under his belt and get his swagger back."

Although the Burrell home run came on a 96-mph fastball, it came on the sixth pitch of the at-bat. Earlier fastballs ranged from 92-94 mph. Torre said Broxton's fastball was "exploding" in the bullpen, but he was "very tentative" in the game.

"The ball that was hit was 96, but he already had shown the guy five pitches," said Torre. "Burrell is a veteran and got into a rhythm. Brox was guiding the ball."

Broxton has been scored upon in four of his last six outings, his ERA rising from 1.93 to 3.12. July was the first month he hasn't averaged at least one strikeout per inning pitched since July 2008.