Bullpen of the Week: Dodgers 'pen steps up

L.A. relievers fill in ably amid rotation shake-up

Bullpen of the Week: Dodgers 'pen steps up

When news of the injury to starter Alex Wood began circulating Tuesday, the Dodgers' relievers knew they might be extra vital to their team's chances amid the impending rotation shuffle.

Sure enough, none of the L.A. starters managed to complete seven innings this past week -- not even Clayton Kershaw. But stellar performances from the Dodgers' bullpen helped keep the team afloat as Los Angeles won 4 of 7 to stay within reach of the National League West-leading Giants. The efforts by L.A.'s relievers helped them capture Bullpen of the Week presented by The Hartford.

As part of the MLB Prevailing Moments program, each Monday throughout the 2016 season, MLB.com is honoring the "Bullpen of the Week presented by The Hartford." An industry-wide panel of MLB experts, including legendary stats guru Bill James, constructed a metric based on James' widely renowned game-score formula, to provide a weekly measurement of team-bullpen performance.

Week Team
April 3-10 A's
April 11-17 Twins
April 18-24 Nationals
April 25-May 1 Phillies
May 2-8 Angels
May 9-15 Yankees
May 16-22 Cubs
May 23-29 Astros
May 30-June 5 Dodgers
June 6-12 Yankees
June 13-19 Marlins
June 20-26 Tigers
June 27-July 3 Pirates
July 4-10 Dodgers
July 18-24 Yankees
July 25-31 Brewers
Aug. 1-7 Blue Jays
Aug. 8-14 Mariners
Aug. 15-21 Royals
Aug. 22-28 Pirates
Aug. 29-Sept. 4 Cubs
Sept. 5-11 Astros
Sept. 12-18 Pirates
Sept. 19-25 Dodgers
Sept. 28-Oct. 2 Mariners

Here's how the Bullpen Rating System is compiled for each week. For reference, a weekly score of 100 is considered outstanding:
• Add 1.5 points for each out recorded
• Add 1.5 points for each strikeout
• Add 5 points for a save
• Subtract 2 points for each hit allowed
• Subtract 4 points for each earned run allowed
• Subtract 2 points for each unearned run allowed
• Subtract 1 point for each walk
• Subtract 5 points for a blown save

The Dodgers' bullpen paced all Major League teams this past week, scoring 97.5 points while allowing just four earned runs and 12 hits in 21 2/3 innings of work. L.A. relievers recorded 26 strikeouts and walked just four batters, and closer Kenley Jansen earned the team's lone save of the week.

The Dodgers bullpen displayed an ability to withstand adversity and succeed despite unexpected circumstances.

Here's a look at their biggest obstacle:

The unexpected: Despite feeling discomfort in his left pitching elbow, Wood gutted through five innings of two-run ball in his start Monday in Chicago. Wood would be diagnosed with an impingement in that elbow following the game, sending him to the 15-day disabled list for at least a month. With Wood out of the game, the Dodgers' bullpen was tasked with finishing the game with L.A. down 2-0 to the Cubs.

How they prevailed: Four Dodgers relievers (Louis Coleman, Casey Fien, J.P. Howell and Pedro Baez) combined to allow just two baserunners over three scoreless innings in the Dodgers' eventual 2-0 loss.

The Dodgers finished 8 1/2 points ahead of the division-rival D-backs and 14 1/2 points ahead of third-place Oakland in the BRS standings. Arizona closer Brad Ziegler converted his 39th consecutive save opportunity Sunday in Chicago to extend his club record and tie Mike Gonzalez for the 11th-longest streak in history.

Matt Kelly is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter @mattkellyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.