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Brusdar Graterol was lights out at the center of a dominant bullpen performance for the Dodgers

The right-hander needed just 14 pitches to get six outs

Championship Series - Atlanta Braves v Los Angeles Dodgers - Game Five Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

Remember back in July when there were rumors that Brusdar Graterol was “a popular name on the trade market.” That seems like a lifetime ago when he was ineffective from an inconsistent start to his season.

After Joe Kelly allowed a two run-homer to Freddie Freeman in the first inning and left the game with a season-ending biceps strain, the rest of the bullpen was firing on all cylinders. At the heart of the group’s performance was Graterol cruising through the Braves’ lineup to get six outs on just 14 pitches.

It’s this version of the right-handed flamethrower that makes the Dodger bullpen good enough to carve up a good team in the playoffs, like they did for the final 26 outs of Thursday’s game. Following the early 2-0 deficit through three hitters, the bullpen allowed only three hits and no walks the rest of the way, striking out nine.

Graterol got the ball up to 101.9-mph in Game 5 and it’s astonishing anybody could ever hit a sinker with so much run at a ridiculous rate of speed.

With appearances in seven of the 11 games for the Dodgers this postseason, only one run has been charged on Graterol’s ledger in 7 13 innings. The run came Sunday when Eddie Rosario smashed a line drive up the middle off Kenley Jansen to walk it off for the Braves in Game 2, bringing home the baserunner Graterol allowed on a leadoff single.

It’s been a command issue for Graterol to figure out this season and as pointed out by J.P. Hoornstra of the Southern California News Group, he has figured out the cutter with the help of Blake Treinen and Kenley Jansen.

If that’s the Graterol the Dodgers can expect in the future beyond this year, that’s going to be an important piece to the bullpen.

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