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Not the best start for the Dodgers bullpen

Matt-guerrier_300 Getting a little nervous about that bullpen?

Maybe you should be. Maybe the Dodgers should be.

Matt Guerrier is looking good. Mike MacDougal is one solo home run away from matching Guerrier's 0.00 ERA.

And that just about covers your early bullpen highlights. Jonathan Broxton is a perfect 5-for-5 in save situations but hasn't exactly been wowing the masses with his one strikeout and 4.15 ERA.

Everybody else, even Hong-Chih Kuo, is still looking for their 2011 mojo. Guess the assumption there is they'll find it.

Kenley Jansen, last year's surprise sensation, pitched one scoreless inning Tuesday to lower his ERA to 7.11, a number Lance Cormier (9.00 ERA) would kill for. Kuo hasn't been terrible, but neither has he looked like the untouchable left-hander from last season.

It's still hard to get a firm grasp on Blake Hawksworth, who has looked pretty good at times and not so good on others. He did not look so good Tuesday when he gave up a triple off the wall to the Giants' Aaron Rowand that would have been a home run in most parks. Or when he then threw a wild pitch to allow Rowand to score the winning run.

Last year's bullpen was a major disappointment, which made it just one of several major disappointments. It was revamped in the offseason and, with Vicente Padilla injured, currently has four new members from a year ago.

The Dodgers have built this year’s team around pitching, and if that naturally begins with the starters, it has to end with the bullpen. Which right now is a little too close to nervous time for the Dodgers' liking.


Chris Erskine: Don't give up on the ballpark, Dodgers fans

T.J. Simers: Davey Lopes is in Matt Kemp's corner, but can he help others?

-- Steve Dilbeck

Photo: Dodgers reliever Matt Guerrier delivers a pitch against the Giants during a 7-5 win earlier this month. Credit: Kirby Lee / US Presswire

Comments () | Archives (10)

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Bull pen sucks, starters other than Kuroda and Kershaw suck, team sucks other than Kemp, GM sucks and owners really suck. Welcome to McCourt baseball! McCourt won't spend money on this team, why should the fans?

If as they say all the girls get prettier at closing time, the dudgers better hope theirs adjusts that makeup (or that De La Rosa by any other name eventually shows up take them home will smell as sweet any other name.)

On a less irreverent note, kuo has been used so sparingly to date this season I almost suspect if not expect he has/will have something wrong with his arm... a shame if so as this guy has already done enough to mimic darren driefort.

"It's still hard to get a firm grasp on Blake Hawksworth"

- Question: why would the Cardinals trade a good pitcher?

Answer: they wouldn't/didn't.

STL' has bullpen horror stories their own 2011, era numbers like 9.82 and 9.53 (move one decimal point each case & it reads like a SF Giants fielding percentage.)

"who has looked pretty good at times and not so good on others."

- all of them outside of kershaw (even he gets an asterisk as he has had benefit the pitchers best friend, otherwise known as Aubrey the Giant.)

Back to hawksworth, you get what you pay for. What to expect from a guy whose price was the erstwhile quiet riot the baseball diamond, ryan theriot?

While hawksworth has looked surprisingly not so much mediocre as reliable more often than naught, as it happens, theriot is currently batting .286 - and STL starting ss (who knew we could have used him in LA, DL Central the NL West.)

What's it been, 11 games... when's the All Star break? kemp & kershaw have a plane to catch & the other dudgers need their rest (most need a different kind of break already; they're a real mess.)

Hawksworth will be erratic: that's why the Dodgers were able to get him. Rowand said the report on him is that he has very good stuff and it's necessary to swing on him early, which is what he did. It's possible he can improve: the Cardinals didn't think so, which is why they let him go; the Dodgers did, which is why they picked him up.

Jansen is not going to be what he was at the end of last season, as the league adjusts to him. He'll need to adjust right back. He recovered well from his shellacking, and that's a plus.

Guerrier is doing what he was signed to do, and MacDougal has been a nice surprise.

I think Kuo is still rusty, because of the babying in spring training; the problem with him remains that he's always one pitch from surgery.

Cormier is not here long-term.

Padilla needs to be back, healthy, and pitching sharp by the time Broxton enters full meltdown mode.

I can't watch Billingsly any longer. I simply can't. Never a stronger contrast than last night. Like all great pitchers (even when they don't have their stuff) Lincecum works up and in. Bills is too terrified to do that. I knew he would give the lead right back in the bottom of the inning. He is so gutless. It's made worse of course because of his great stuff. Why can't he see what Lincecum does? How he intimidates. How he plunks. Why doesn't Bills retaliate? How many times does Uribe have to be hit by this punk? Look at the difference in posture of the two pitchers. Lincecum stares people down. Bills stares at the ground - afraid it seems to even look the hitters in the eyes. Did anyone think the 3-0 would last even one inning. It never does with this guy. He gives it right back. Sickening to watch - four more years?? UHG!

I don't endorse more than $10 mil a season for a set-up guy, though its a nice luxury to have if you can and do decide to do it.

The pen is a thin thread, not a strong rope, when you think of Kuo and Brox and the potentital of shutdown innings. While innings before them may get better, there's no strong evidence to support why, how or when. And its not a news flash to say same for LF and C.

The infield - there are guys I wish we hadn't signed, that I think will be busts, but I won't be surprised if they string it together at least respectably for us. So far, they haven't.

We thought Kemp and Eithier might rebound and they have. Loney is a major disappointment thus far, but I haven't given up on him and do believe he'll turn it around.

Sometimes you get a low-payroll team (we're not, we're upper middle) that overperforms, and a run is made. Those times are rare, and even fewer are World Series champs. Most times, you get what you pay for; we're No. 12 in payroll; and this morning we're tied for 10th best record.

beat the lil' giants

Broxton is living on borrowed time. How long can he fool anybody with that ERA and the lack of strikeouts? That's what a closer does ---- strikes out batters and doesn't allow runs, in any way, shape or form. That's what Broxton doesn't do. He's NOT A CLOSER, Donnie! He was, and is, an OK setup man.
Plenty of good points about Hawksworth. I can't add to them.
But this is our bullpen, and our infield, and our left field and our starting rotation.
So pull up a chair and stay right with us, if you have the stomach to.

We blame our pitchers for the other team's offense but no one seems to credit the other team's offense. How come it looks like to me that the Dodger offense helps the opponents pitching by not showing any discipline at the plate and swinging away an anything they can reach and not waiting for a good pitch to hit. Also the Dodgers seemed to be taking a lot of strikes but usually when the Giants held their swings it was a ball. I don't know maybe it's my imagination or something.
I'm referring to most of the lineup up.

I got the chair!

woe unto my stomach 'ol friend

Apologies to Vin, alan.

S'58, sometimes I wonder and stand back in amazement and awe of Vin just because of knowing what he enjoyed, the Brooklyn years, the sunnier days in LA for the organization, and now how its all just crashing so badly. He's over 80, he doesn't need the job, and yet, he still provides something that the truest of Dodger blues like you and I enjoy. Baseball. The lesser man would have left long ago, probably even in the Murdoch regime much less this disgraceful McCourt days. He'd never say it, but you just have to believe he knows how fans are suffering mightily. (Can you imagine the things you'd hear from the late Santo on Cubs broadcasts if these shenanigans have played out in Chicago?) I'd say Vin might have times he wonders silently and without anyone knowing how we stomach it indeed. He might know more on the inside and see things we don't hear about, and thus know how tough it is and how admirable it is for us to remain true Dodgers while this ownership era passes through. And I'm sure he hopes for better days ahead.


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