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Dodgers’ bullpen finishes the job in Game 2 of NLDS

By in Press Enterprise on October 8, 2017

By J.P. Hoornstra

LOS ANGELES — It took a couple games, but the Dodgers’ road map to 27 outs finally resembled that of the other seven teams still playing for a World Series title: a series of zigs, zags and detours.

Starter Rich Hill lasted four innings in Game 2 of the National League Division Series against the Arizona Diamondbacks. A menagerie of relief pitchers managed the final five innings. Tony Cingrani, Kenta Maeda, Tony Watson, Brandon Morrow, Josh Fields and Kenley Jansen all saw action out of the bullpen.

At times they made it look easy. Other moments left room for second-guessing. In the end, the bullpen got the Dodgers to within one game of their second consecutive trip to the National League Championship Series.

In eight postseason games prior to the Dodgers’ 8-5 win Saturday, only two starting pitchers lasted seven innings. Coincidentally, both of them – the Chicago Cubs’ Kyle Hendricks and the Washington Nationals’ Stephen Strasburg – started opposite each other on Friday.

The Dodgers had the luxury of extending their relievers. Clayton Kershaw pitched 6-1/3 innings on Friday. The three pitchers who finished the game (Tony Watson, Brandon Morrow and Kenley Jansen) threw a total of 26 pitches.

“It was very good for them to be efficient,” Manager Dave Roberts said. “Not as important as it is in a seven-game series when you have the three in a row with the off-days here. In this short series I think that that’s nice, but for them to be efficient and feel that I can go back to them and extend them if need be, that’s a good thing.”

Hill allowed a two-run home run to Paul Goldschmidt in the first inning and left with the Dodgers leading, 3-2. The veteran left-hander had thrown 78 pitches, well short of his season high, but the game dictated […]    

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