Dodgers’ ‘pen outduels Ohtani: ‘Something for us to build on’

ANAHEIM — Over the past month, the Dodgers struggled greater than they’ve grown accustomed to, and the bullpen wore a lot of the blame because the staff fell to 3rd place within the Nationwide League West.

The Dodgers’ bullpen got here into the two-game collection towards the Angels with a 5.04 ERA, the second-worst mark within the Majors behind the A’s, who’ve the worst report in baseball. It was fairly the surprising turnaround for a reduction corps that was seen as a energy final season.

On Wednesday, that very same bullpen was referred to as upon to sq. off towards Angels two-way famous person Shohei Ohtani, who was making his first begin towards the Dodgers. On paper, given the way in which Ohtani and the Dodgers’ bullpen have carried out on the mound, this was a big mismatch.

Video games aren’t performed on paper, nevertheless, and a bunch of seven Dodgers relievers outdueled Ohtani by tossing a two-hitter in a 2-0 win at Angel Stadium. It’s simply the second time the Dodgers have shut out the Angels in back-to-back video games, which they final did on June 27-28, 2008.

“Any time you’re speaking in regards to the bullpen, it’s like a relay race, it’s cross the baton to the following man,” mentioned Dodgers supervisor Dave Roberts. “They’re actually tight. And so when one man is scuffling, you possibly can sense that they’re all feeling it. And conversely, when one man is doing properly, throws a great inning, then the following man needs to do the identical factor. So tonight was image excellent.”

Initially, the Dodgers had plans of utilizing Michael Grove to take down the majority of the innings. However Roberts mentioned they shifted these plans late Tuesday night time and notified the Angels early Wednesday that they have been going to deploy a bullpen recreation as a substitute.

Brusdar Graterol was informed on Tuesday night time that he would open the sport, and he didn’t disappoint. The appropriate-hander delivered one among his finest performances in weeks, hanging out three over two scoreless innings.

That set the tone for the remainder of the Dodgers’ bullpen.

victor gonzalez adopted with 1 1/3 innings, getting some assist from an incredible defensive play by David Peralta and Will Smith. With Luis Rengifo tagging to attain, Peralta made a powerful throw to the plate and Smith executed an ideal tag for the second consecutive night time, protecting the sport scoreless.

As soon as González bought by way of his a part of the lineup, in got here Yency Almontewho additionally went 1 1/3 innings. Almonte struggled to start out the season, however the right-hander has been far more environment friendly over the previous couple of weeks.

“Bullpen video games are fairly tough to navigate,” mentioned Dodgers first baseman Freddie Freemanwho opened the scoring with a solo homer off Ohtani within the fourth. “They did an unimaginable job tonight.”

Maybe the pitcher who most wanted a stable outing was Alex Vesia. The left-hander was one of many Dodgers’ finest relievers in every of the previous two seasons, however he has been probably the most ineffective arms in 2023. Within the fifth, Vesia labored his approach out of a jam by getting Hunter Renfroe to fly out with the tying run in scoring place.

Vesia was then trusted by Roberts to face Ohtani and Mike Trout within the sixth, and he got here by way of, getting Ohtani to come out and hanging out Trout swinging.

“It provides them confidence,” Roberts mentioned. “We’ve by no means debated the arm expertise, what these guys have completed, however actually [regarding] efficiency, the final couple of nights has been the extent that we had anticipated. So it’s one thing for us to construct on.”

The fifth pitcher of the night time was Ryan Brasierwho retired all 4 batters he confronted in his Dodgers debut. That opened the lane for Caleb Ferguson to take down a scoreless eighth for the second consecutive night time and Evan Phillips within the ninth for his second straight save.

“Guys have been grinding,” Ferguson mentioned. “I don’t actually suppose it’s been as far off because it seems. Only a couple higher pitches right here, couple higher pitches there and issues are loads totally different. However kudos to everyone for placing their head down and protecting grinding. Simply persevering with to get by way of the tough patch.”

Ferguson talked about that the bullpen has had inner conversations amid this shocking stretch. They haven’t been something formal, however there was a way of urgency to get again on monitor. And for 2 nights, it regarded extra just like the Dodgers bullpen of outdated.

If that continues, it might be an enormous growth for Los Angeles.

“[It’s a] ‘you’ve bought to see it to imagine it’ sort of factor,” Phillips mentioned. “Success breeds confidence.”

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Printed : 2023-06-22 06:13:00

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