Hatcher, Fien, Liberatore combine for 6 1/3 innings
By Jack Baer
LOS ANGELES -- As Mike Bolsinger left the mound in the middle of the third inning after a five-run slog of a start, it was hard to see a way in which the Dodgers' bullpen wasn't going to be stretched past its limit.
However, instead of snapping, the bullpen handed the Dodgers a 10-6 win by holding the Brewers to just one earned run in 6 1/3 innings. The performance was a combined effort of multiple innings from Chris Hatcher, Casey Fien and Adam Liberatore.
"They've been doing an incredible job and being as resilient as they can be," first baseman Adrian Gonzalez said. "They continue to keep us in game and give us chances to win."
Bolsinger's abbreviated start couldn't have come at a more inconvenient time. The team had used six different relievers in Friday's extra-inning game and needed five innings Thursday after Scott Kazmir exited early.
For three games, the bullpen pitched at least five innings.
"I can't say enough about these guys, just the way they take the baseball and pick one another up and pick the rest of the team up," manager Dave Roberts said. "To go 6 1/3 and give up only one run, is obviously more than commendable. It was good to see the fight in our guys tonight."
It was even more impressive to see Hatcher throw 2 1/3 scoreless innings, as he wasn't even supposed to pitch Saturday. Roberts had said before the game that he was hoping to give the right-hander a day of rest.
"When you go two and two thirds, it's an all hands on deck type of thing," Roberts said. "To their credit, we've got our 'pen in somewhat good shape for tomorrow. Takes a lot of guys going out of their comfort zone to get it done."
The bullpen's job radically changed in the third inning. When Hatcher came in, the team was down 5-2 and just trying to keep the game within reach. By the time Hatcher next took the mound in the fourth, the Dodgers were up, 8-5, and suddenly trying to preserve a lead.
One of the six runs scored in the third inning was batted in by Hatcher, as Roberts didn't want to pull him after just a third of an inning. A former catcher, Hatcher knocked a line drive to center field and scored Yasmani Grandal. It was his first career hit in the Majors.
"It's about time," Fien said.
Liberatore's two scoreless innings further lowered his ERA to 0.81. He has allowed runs in just one of his 30 outings this season and is striking out 10.07 batters per nine innings.
Jack Baer is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.