It was the biggest failing of last year’s team and probably the biggest uncertainty of this year’s
To those who witnessed its struggles in the second half and meltdown in the playoffs, it brings a shudder. It received a much-needed makeover in the off-season. It is filled mostly with brand new relievers and relievers who made brief appearances last season.
But in the season opener Monday against the
Yimi Garcia (a 24-year-old with eight previous games of experience),
Garcia pitched a perfect seventh with two strikeouts. Peralta faced only three batters in the eighth. And after hitting his first batter, Hatcher shut down the Padres in the ninth to earn his first career save.
One little game, but one very nice start.
“Yimi Garcia was kind of the breakout star in
Dodgers Manager has avoided announcing roles for relievers and warned the building of this year's bullpen will be an ongoing process. That has to start somewhere, and as starts go, Monday wasn't bad.
"A day you go like that, you get confidence," Peralta said. "You go in three innings and don't give up [any] runs. That can settle a lot of bullpens."
The Dodgers trailed 3-2 when Garcia came in to pitch the top of the seventh, striking out pinch-hitter
It was still tied when Hatcher started to warm up to go in the ninth, but not after
The first thing Hatcher did was hit
"I was probably a little to geeked up, too excited," Hatcher said.
"After I hit him, it settled me down. It sounds funny, but it kind of reminds you you're still playing a game. You need to just relax and let your stuff happen and it will take care of itself."
One game down, and the bullpen had held.