Dodgers: Top-Tier Bullpen Was Built for Fall Classic

CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 19: Kenley Jansen
CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 19: Kenley Jansen /

There has been a lot of obvious themes to the success that the Los Angeles Dodgers have had this postseason. Whether it has been the fans or people around the league, it seems that the talk about the Dodgers has not slowed down.

People have been raving about the offense that has been absolutely relentless, a defense that has been doing everything right and the starting pitching that has carried much of the Dodgers’ weight throughout the playoffs.

However, aside from all of these contributing factors, one of the most talked about – and the most important – keys to the postseason success has been the bullpen.

From the long-relievers down to the closer, the Los Angeles bullpen has sparkled throughout the playoffs. Plain and simple. Contributions have come from everyone out of the pen, and that has been a defining component to the wins that have been compiled on this amazing run.

Typically there is a downside to bringing the same arms from the bullpen, day-in, and day-out, but the formula has worked well for Dave Roberts and the coaching staff to date, so why not keep riding it?

Overuse has not necessarily been an issue; since it would likely be addressed in manager interviews before and after the games. This Dodger bullpen has indeed been riding a nice wave though.

Every move that Dave Roberts makes has only turned into gold, due to the competitiveness and pure execution – typically coming in the latter half of games.

As the Dodgers head to the World Series, there is really only one other bullpen that has been a fraction of what the Dodgers’ has been; that being the recently eliminated New York Yankees.

But did they really even come close? Well, after two rounds, and a total of eight games, the Los Angeles Dodgers have seven wins and only one loss. That in itself is very impressive, but during the span of the NLCS, the bullpen did not even yield a single run.

When looking at the big picture, the toughest task for the bullpen will likely come in the World Series – but that should be an expectation.

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There is really no reason why it should be easy for the Dodgers to win a World Series Title, but if there is any possible way to lighten the workload for the team, it seems that their bullpen has been able to step up and lock it down.

Even when Roberts has anticipated a quality outing from his starter, the safety blanket of the bullpen has remained nearby in-case a rescue mission is necessary.

It seems fair to state that the Dodgers have had the most reliable bullpen since beginning this postseason; continuing that success will likely come down to reasonable outings from the starting pitchers in the Fall Classic.

If the starters cannot manage, there may or may not be bullpen hiccups; but with their confidence at an all-time high, there should be no shortage of bullpen arms not only taking that ball, but also wanting to compete when their name is called upon.

Regardless of how the starting staff pitches in the World Series, it is essentially a lock, if the bullpen is called upon late or even early in a game. While you still want as much success as you can get out of the starting pitching, it will be nice to have a fresh bullpen after a historical NLCS against the Chicago Cubs, in which they managed to win without allowing a single run out of their relievers.

Next: Forsythe's Quiet but Great Postseason

It is safe to say, with statistics aside, this bullpen is absolutely carving through batting orders and has no shortage of confidence going into the biggest series of the year. Bring on the Fall Classic.