The hardest thing about being a starter is being asked to get the same players out three-plus times a game. Relievers have the advantage of coming into a game in which most batters haven’t prepared for them specifically, plus, they’re often only asked to get players out once.
Hitters slashed just .230/.279/.288 in Bolsinger’s first and second time through an order. He’s also striking batters out at a 22.9 percent rate. The third time through the order, however, hitters slash .275/.383/.391 and are only striking out 16 percent of time the time.
Situationally, the numbers are promising as well. Against right-handers, Bolsinger is holding hitters to a .211/.265/.291 slash line. For me, a bullpen of Pedro Baez, J.P. Howell, Kenley Jansen and Juan Nicasio, with some combination of Luis Avilan, Bolsinger, Garcia, Johnson and Adam Liberatore is not only feasible, but it’s the best bullpen the Dodgers will have taken into the postseason in years.
And combine that with Clayton Kershaw/Zack Greinke/Mat Latos/Alex Wood/Brett Anderson, and, well, I’m still a fan who’d take my chances with this roster.
To be clear, I’m not saying this is the greatest bullpen in history, but I am saying I think it’s a bullpen that gives the Dodgers a chance (or at least, doesn’t eliminate their chances) of winning a World Series. And, well, that’s more than we could for the last few years.