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Dodgers: Joe Kelly Thinks This is the Best Bullpen He’s Ever Been In

Even considering his World Series team, this is as good as it gets for JK.



In years past, having a strong bullpen has not been a consistent theme for the Dodgers. In fact, the lack of a strong bullpen has been mostly to blame for most of the last few years of playoff failure. But there is something undoubtedly different about the 2020 team.

The Dodgers had the best bullpen in the NL finishing the shortened season with a 2.74 ERA. That bullpen also combined for a league-best 3.6 fWAR and 3.45 FIP. It seemed like no matter who they’ve thrown out on a nightly basis, good things happen.

Joe Jelly has been one of those guys that have helped to make the Dodgers bullpen successful. Following Kenley Jansen’s meltdown on Wednesday, Joe talked about the relief team. In his mind, it’s easily the best bullpen that he’s ever had a chance to be a part of. 

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I said it throughout the year, this is the best bullpen that I’ve ever been a part of. And like I said, I have a World Series ring. When you can run out anywhere from, i don’t even know how many guys we’ve got down there right now. Pretty much every single guy down there at any point in any situation and their numbers are from a 0 ERA to a 2 ERA, it’s pretty damn good. 

Joe might be on to something there. While Kenley hasn’t supported that during these playoffs, the other guys in the bullpen have been lights out. Across 22 innings of work, the bullpen has allowed just 4 earned runs to come across. Kenley Jansen is responsible for half of those on his own. The rest of the Dodgers relievers have allowed just 2 earned runs through 19.2 innings. All of the makings of a championship team, IF the pieces are used correctly. 

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Written by Brook Smith

Brook is the Senior Editor of Dodgers Nation, with several years of experience in sports journalism. He is an avid Dodgers and Lakers fan, and can be spotted fairly often at Dodger Stadium and Staples Center.

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  1. I saw my first Dodger game at the Coliseum as a little kid in 1958 been a Dodger fan ever since. I remember Peronaski and Larry Sherry. Bullpens were not as prized in those days.
    This is the best bullpen from top to bottom I can remember.
    Never forget Gagne’s run as he was unhittable but this one from Treinen, Floro, McGee, Kelly, Graterol, etc this bullpen is amazing. To be able to bring in Urias or May is also devastating.
    It will be interesting to see what the Dodgers do to shape their rotation with 7 games in a row. I continue to believe that Roberts’s erratic in-game pitching decisions will continue to keep the Dodgers from winning the WS.
    I wonder if the reason they only used May as an opener for one inning was to use May in the 1st game after Buehler cannot pitch with his blister.
    Urias was incredible especially coming in and striking out Tatis with the bases loaded.
    I wonder when they are going to use Gonsolin?

  2. Totally agree with Joe Kelly, the front office has done a great job building this year’s bullpen.

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