Joe Torre touched on a number of subjects during his pregame chat with reporters, but eventually the conversation circled around to who he thought the Dodgers’ MVP was so far.
Without hesitation, Torre said it was the bullpen, explaining it was the one area he was unsettled about coming out of spring training, yet it’s been a consistent asset all year long.
Coming on the heels of Monday night’s bullpen masterpiece – seven different relievers threw shutout innings to enable the Dodgers to pull out a dramatic 13th inning win on Andre Ethier’s two-run home run – Torre’s comments made sense.
But it’s more than just Monday’s performance. After getting 7.0 scoreless innings from their bullpen last night, the Dodgers lead the National League with a bullpen ERA of 3.31 and trails just Boston (2.89), Seattle (3.16), and Tampa Bay (3.22) for the Major-League lead. The bullpen has a big league best 21 wins with workhorses Ronald Belisario (40 games) and Ramon Troncoso (35) combining to go 2-2 with a 1.98 ERA (21 ER/95.2 IP), with 73 strikeouts and just 36 walks. Opponents are hitting just .219 against the duo.
If you’re looking for reasons why the Dodgers are so good in close games, the bullpen is a great place to start.
But we put the vote to you: