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Dodgers win battle of the bullpens in World Series Game 4

By in Press Enterprise on October 29, 2017

By J.P. Hoornstra

HOUSTON — Prior to the World Series, the Dodgers were perceived as having a better bullpen than the Houston Astros.

It wasn’t until Game 4 that perception became irrefutable reality.

The Dodgers’ bullpen was down a man Saturday, with Kenta Maeda being unavailable after throwing 42 pitches in 2-2/3 scoreless innings the day before. The Astros led the series, 2-1. Pitcher Clayton Kershaw, who will start here Sunday, called Game 4 “pretty close to must-win, if not a must-win” for the Dodgers.

While the Astros’ bullpen collapsed late, the Dodgers’ bullpen burnished its reputation by recording the final 10 outs in relief of starter Alex Wood.

The Dodgers’ 6-2 win – in a game that was tied after eight innings – evened the series at two games apiece.

“It’s tremendous,” closer Kenley Jansen said of the Dodgers’ bullpen. “Give credit to Andrew (Friedman, the Dodgers’ president of baseball operations) and Farhan (Zaidi, the team’s general manager), the way they put the bullpen together. They knew that was the weakness.”

The first man out of the bullpen Saturday was Brandon Morrow. Making his fourth appearance in five days, the right-hander pitched 1-1/3 innings without allowing a run. He became the first pitcher in 12 years to pitch at least two-thirds of an inning in the first four games of a World Series.

Left-hander Tony Watson pitched a full inning on the second consecutive night, something he hadn’t done before in these playoffs. He retired Josh Reddick, Evan Gattis and Marwin Gonzalez in a 1-2-3 eighth inning.

In the ninth inning, Jansen pitched around a benign Alex Bregman home run to finish the game.

In 12 postseason games, Dodger relievers have a collective 1.90 ERA. Astros relievers: 5.21.

“The innings that B-Mo and Watty gave us were obviously huge, to allow us to get to Kenley,” Manager Dave Roberts said. “If those […]    

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