Throughout the course of the 2020 MLB season, the Dodgers had arguably one of the best bullpens in all of baseball. It was one of their biggest strength, and a lot of people (myself included) believed that this dominant bullpen would help get the Dodgers over the hump.
However, things just haven’t clicked so far during October. The bullpen has struggled drastically so far, and they look nothing like they did during the regular season. On Saturday afternoon, in their biggest game of the entire season, Dave Roberts had to turn to his bullpen and ask for three innings out of them.
He got the three innings, and they looked nearly perfect doing it.
After Walker Buehler gave LA six strong innings, Roberts turned to Blake Treinen in the seventh inning. On the first pitch he threw, Nick Markakis tripled down the right field line. Not to give Max Muncy grief or anything, but he potentially could have made a play on the ball, or at least kept it in the infield. It wasn’t hit too hard, and a really good roll made it a triple.
After getting an out and keeping Markakis on third, the top of the lineup came up. Ronald Acuna Jr. doubled, cutting their deficit to two runs. Just like that, Freddie Freeman represented the game-tying run at the plate. Treinen shut things down, looking like he did in 2018. He struck out Freeman and then got Marcell Ozuna to fly out to end the inning. Sure, he allowed a run to score, but making sure it was only one run was huge from Treinen.
Pedro Baez then took the eighth inning. It was his second game in a row and his fourth game in the last five days. It was definitely his best outing of the series, as he retired the Braves in order on 17 pitches, including one strikeout. Since Baez’s outing in Game 2, he’s thrown three scoreless innings with five strikeouts and zero walks.
For the second night in a row, Kenley Jansen entered the game in the ninth, this time being a save situation. Just like the night prior, he retired the side in order. As if it couldn’t get anymore efficient than the previous game, Jansen needed only six pitches to record the three outs.
Yet again, his velocity was up, as he touched 93mph multiple times, including 94mph on his final pitch. This is the second straight game in which Jansen’s velocity was up.
Buehler had a fantastic outing, but those three arms out of the bullpen delivered when they were called upon. If the Dodgers want to advance to their third World Series in four years, they are going to need another dominant day from their arms tonight. With the exception of Walker Buehler, everyone will be available.
I can’t wait.