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Dodgers bullpen hasn't allowed a hit yet

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Five Dodgers relievers have combined to pitch not only scoreless but hitless baseball through the first five games of the season.

USA TODAY Sports

Dating back to late last season the Dodgers have done job at preventing runs. After two straight shutouts of the Pirates, the Dodgers look to complete their sweep on Sunday afternoon at Dodger Stadium.

The Dodgers have allowed single-digit runs in each of their last four series (all three games), and barring a total collapse will do the same against Pittsburgh:

  • Sep. 25-27 at San Diego: eight runs allowed
  • Sep. 28-30 vs. Colorado: one run allowed
  • Oct. 1-3 vs. Giants: seven runs allowed
  • Apr. 1-3 vs. Giants: eight runs allowed
  • Apr. 4-6 vs. Pirates: no runs allowed in first two games

It's no surprise that the team is 10-4 during that stretch, including 3-2 this season. The starting pitching has been magnificent with 31 strikeouts, two walks, and four earned runs allowed, and has quality starts in each of the first five games of the season for the first time since 1972, a year that opened with 11 straight quality starts.

Hyun-jin Ryu gets his second start for the Dodgers, while Jeff Locke makes his first this season for Pittsburgh.

The bullpen has been sublime as well. The Dodgers have only used five relief pitchers so far, but they have combined for 10⅓ innings without allowing a run or a hit.

2013 Dodgers bullpen
Reliever G IP H R ER BB K
Brandon League 3 3 0 0 0 1 1
Kenley Jansen 3 2⅔ 0 0 0 2 4
Paco Rodriguez 3 2 0 0 0 0 3
J.P. Howell 1 2 0 0 0 0 1
Ronald Belisario 1 0 0 0 0 0
Totals 10⅓ 0 0 0 3 9

Just like in 2012's penultimate series, the Dodgers have a chance for a shutout sweep, something they haven't done in 47 years:

The Dodgers have shut the Rockies out in each of the first two games of the series, and if they do it again Sunday the team will have its first series shutout sweep of three or more games since blanking the Houston Astros in four straight games from Sept. 9-11 1966. Claude Osteen, Don Drysdale, Sandy Koufax, and Joe Moeller did the honors for the Dodgers in that series, with complete games by Osteen and Koufax.

Since 1918, the furthest back that Baseball-Reference.com has play-by-play data, the only other time the Dodgers had a series shutout sweep was in 1960, when Drysdale, Roger Craig, and Stan Williams all pitched complete game shutouts against the Philadelphia Phillies from July 22-24.

Game info

Time: 1:10 p.m. PT

TV: Prime Ticket

MLB Gameday