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When it's closing time, lights are getting a tad bright for Dodgers

Ll60d7nc What a mess. I mean the bullpen, not the entire team. Particularly the end of the bullpen.

Really, who will be the Dodgers’ closer Saturday after what transpired Friday night?

Mike MacDougal, come on down?

Hey, somebody has to pop out of the bullpen if the Dodgers have a narrow lead in the ninth inning.

We know it won’t be last year’s closers, Jonathan Broxton and Hong-Chih Kuo, both now on the disabled list.

It won’t be substitute closer Vicente Padilla, who threw 32 pitches Friday and almost blew the game.

I suppose it could be Friday’s ultimate closer, Kenley Jansen, since he threw only four pitches. All fastballs in striking out Melvin Mora.

Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly was blunt about who his closer would be Saturday: "I don’t know."

It’s not like he’s picking from a wealth of terrific choices. It’s a continuing theme, and it’s not too pretty.

Broxton (5.68 ERA, 1.89 WHIP) and Kuo (11.57, 2.36) were both struggling before going on the DL. Padilla is coming off spring arm surgery. Mattingly said he took him out of Friday’s 4-3 victory not because he’d given up a pair of ninth-inning runs and had two on, but simply because he’d reached his pitch limit.

The Dodgers have about reached their limit in the ninth. It’s the one inning that’s been killing them all season. Of the 168 runs scored against the Dodgers thus far, 36 have come in the ninth. That’s 12 more than the next closest inning.

It’s currently closer by committee, but not exactly an impressive one. They’d ask for volunteers, but imagine their fright at some of the hands that might go up. Mattingly said Padilla remains his closer, but I remain skeptical.

It’s a mess, and could be for some time.

--  Steve Dilbeck

Photo: Los Angeles Dodgers second baseman Aaron Miles can't reach a ball hit for a single by Arizona Diamondbacks center fielder Chris Young during the third inning of a game Friday in L.A. Credit: Mark J. Terrill / AP

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Padilla may take some time to adapt to closing, it's different from trying to pace yourself and go 7. But his personality and attitude seem pretty good for a closer. Come in, guns blazing, challenge hitters. He struggled last night, but given the (lack of) alternatives I'd give him a little more time.

Padilla is the kind of crazy that can be good for a closer.

"What a mess. I mean the bullpen, not the entire team."

- spoken like a true romantic (which is to say 'other than that Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play? We'll have that mess cleaned up in no time.')

It might be putting the horse before the cart but dudger minor league closer Shawn Tolleson was just promoted from the Great Lakes Loons (name even more egregious than 'Isotopes') for Rancho Cucamonga where he becomes a Quake, so he's in the neighborhood now. If he makes batters quake in fear of him, just might earn a ticket the short trip to LA rather than AA. He's good.

The savvy baseball man would call it desperation, but alas beggars can't be choosers. Too, he's not getting any younger (he'll turn 24 in mere months) and while he's never pitched above A ball, odds are he can't do worse than blow a save 9th inning, so what else is new/what are you waiting for Ned?

On the other hand, the KC Royals who have an absolutely marvelous bullpen overflowing with talent are rumored willing to trade Joakim Soria - who was coincidentally in the dudgers system before being released - outright - at age 20, ay caramba; yet another one that got away.

Known as the 'Mexicutioner' for his ability to kill opposition rallies, he's been less impressive this year than afore, but he is probably tired of the losing he's suffered in KC the last five years; not a problem...he'd feel right at home here in LA/won't have to change a thing.

Course, he would cost Colletti... but Ned's never had a problem with that.

We can't see a problem with the bullpen.

It's Jansen.

It will always be a mess as long as McCourt owns this team.

not to many there in the ninth left to care

Lets trade Loney to the Padres for Heath Bell. If we get Heath Bell we are set. All we have to do after that is go and grab a power hitting left fielder. Put Jerry at first base. Blake and Furcal hopefully will come in the right time to over take first place. We are not out of this, so there is plenty of time for Ned to do something really quick. I would not wait for July, because there are a lot fo teams struggling right now that will be very active trading.

Memo to Mattingly: Don't worry about feedin' the mules. Just load the wagon...

"What a mess. I mean the bullpen, not the entire team." Really Steve? Then I'll say it. This entire team is a mess.

Padilla had one bad outing, and the fans want him crucified. Don't forget he had three saves before this bad game. He was probably tired.

Rubby De La Rosa should be called up and put in the pen.

The bullpen is definitely day to day, right now.


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