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.
Brusdar Graterol, 101mph Demon Sinker (with Tail). pic.twitter.com/QxqTFeQHp1— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) October 22, 2021
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 1⁄3 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.
- Jayson Stark over at The Athletic points out that once again, the Dodgers and Chris Taylor show that baseball makes no sense sometimes.
- Kyle Glaser at Baseball America wrote about this postseason possibly being the last seeing the Dodgers in their current form and they’ve found a way to extend it a little longer.
- Helene Elliott at the LA Times writes that the Dodgers and Braves series is a showcase of baseball’s illogical unpredictability.
- Bill Plunkett at the OC Register wrote about being on the ropes in the NLCS, the Dodgers came out throwing haymakers with Chris Taylor landing the biggest punches.
- Mark Whicker wrote at the OC Register about Albert Pujols finding the postseason to be a familiar feeling.
- Bill Shaikin of the LA Times wrote about the Dodgers bullpen helping to breathe a sigh of relief in Game 5.