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 Kelly 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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