While the Dodgers get ready to take on the Houston Astros tonight, let's take a look at how the bullpen has performed thus far.
LH - Joe Beimel
3-0, 12 IP, 0.75 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, 1 ER, 11 H, 4 BB, 9 K
Beimel has been great so far, excelling in his role of left-handed specialist. Lefties stand virtually no chance against him, compiling a meager .190 BAA. He also leads the team in appearances with 18 since he has proven over and over that he is very much reliable.
RH - Scott Proctor
0-0, 17.2 IP, 6.11 ERA, 1.58 WHIP, 12 ER, 19 H, 9 BB, 16 K
Probably the most surprising of all the numbers I have seen is Proctor's. For whatever reason, he has yet to really get on track, as evidenced by his bloated ERA. He's still a Joe Torre favorite, so he'll be given plenty of chances I'm sure.
RH - Cory Wade
0-0, 7.2 IP, 2.35 ERA, 0.91 WHIP, 2 ER, 7 H, 0 BB, 4 K
The book on Wade was that he's a good strike thrower, and that has certainly carried over to the Bigs. After Ramon Troncoso flopped, Wade has played his limited role very nicely. Righties are only hitting .125 against him.
RH - Chan Ho Park
1-0, 1 SV, 22 IP, 2.45 ERA, 1.36 WHIP, 6 ER, 20 H, 10 BB, 9 K
Park was briefly sent down to Triple-A to start the season after losing the 5th starter battle, but was quickly recalled. He has really given the Dodgers big innings in games where the starters have not been so hot. I never thought he'd be playing anywhere close to this well, but he has.
LH - Hong-Chih Kuo
2-1, 24.1 IP, 2.59 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 7 ER, 19 H, 9 BB, 33 K
While it's not the situation he would want to be in, he has been outstanding in his role of long relief. Earlier this week against the Mets, Hiroki Kuroda wasn't getting the job done, so Kuo came in struck out 8 in 3.2 innings. He's challenging hitters and winning with his overpowering stuff. If he stays healthy (BIG if), he will continue to play a huge role.
RH - Jonathan Broxton
1-0, 15 IP, 1.80 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 3 ER, 9 H, 6 BB, 21 K
Another year, another dominating performance by Broxton. He is easily one of the top setup men in the game. There have been calls for him to take over closer duties already. While I think that's premature, it wouldn't surprise me to see it happen next year. For now, he still owns the 8th inning.
RH - Takashi Saito
1-1, 5 SV, 15.1 IP, 1.76 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 3 ER, 13 H, 5 BB, 16 K
I hear people say Saito should be replaced, and then I look at these numbers and wonder what those people are thinking. I believe the problem is that he's been so good the last few years, any little slip up (like his blown save against Pittsburgh) gets magnified way too much. He's still one of the top closers in the game, and I'll take my chances with him closing out any game.
Overall, I think the bullpen has pitched very well. With the exception of Proctor, they all have really good numbers, which shows that with a little offense, the Dodgers are capable of winning any game. The return of a healthy Yhency Brazoban only gives them another weapon to turn to in innings 5-8. I really believe that if the starters can give 5-6 good innings, then it's a winnable game. Even when a starter isn't clicking, Park and Kuo have shown they can keep the game steady.
They're deep, talented, and most importantly, can get people out!