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Dodgers' bullpen responds to end of one streak by starting another

June 6, 2010 |  7:21 pm
One streak down, another off to a nice start.

Let’s give it up for the Dodgers’ bullpen. One day after melting into a complete puddle of ineptness, it responded with a positively brilliant outing.

On Saturday, the bullpen couldn’t preserve a 2-1 victory over the Braves that would have sent the Dodgers into sole possession of first place for the first time all season.

Three relievers, a veritable parade of bullpen incompetence, gave up six runs as the Dodgers went on to suffer a 9-3 loss.

Now flash forward to Sunday, John Ely suffering his first rough outing since his debut, and the game tied 4-4 after five innings.

The Dodgers called on five relievers and each responded by putting up blanks. Admittedly, none of them were named Ramon Troncoso or Charlie Haeger, but it was still a pretty encouraging effort.

"The bullpen today was just fantastic," said catcher A.J. Ellis.

The Saturday meltdown ended a scoreless streak of 22 1/3 consecutive innings by the bullpen. Now it has a six-inning streak going.

Justin Miller, Hong-Chih Kuo, Jeff Weaver and Jonathan Broxton each threw one scoreless inning. Roland Belisario threw two to earn his first victory of the season. It was only the second time this season Belisario pitched two full innings.

In the bullpen’s six innings, the five relievers combined to hold the hot-hitting Braves to three hits and one walk. They struck out five, three by Broxton.

Miller has thrown 6 1/3 innings of scoreless relief since being called up May 27. Opposing hitters are batting .105 (two for 19) against him.

Kuo has not allowed a run in his last 15 2/3 innings. He has not allowed a hit to a left-handed hitter (0 for 20).

And just one other quick aside on Sunday’s game: Atlanta’s Tim Hudson was so effective early, he faked out his entire team. Heck, he deeked himself.

Hudson retired the Dodgers so quickly in the second, after Garret Anderson bounced out to first for the third out, all the Braves stood around. Every one of them.

The entire team lost track of how many outs there were. One of the strangest things I’ve ever seen.

-- Steve Dilbeck