Jerry Dipoto

After sour stint with Angels, Joe Blanton finds 'sweet spot' in Dodgers bullpen

After sour stint with Angels, Joe Blanton finds 'sweet spot' in Dodgers bullpen

An injury-marred and rookie-reliant rotation that averaged only 5 1/3 innings a start forced the Dodgers to carry an eight-man bullpen for much of the season, a relief corps that seemed to consist of Kenley Jansen and the seven dwarfed.

The 6-foot-5, 270-pound cut-fastball specialist cast a long shadow over his bullpen mates, posting a 3-2 record with a 1.83 earned-run average in 71 games, converting 47 of 53 save opportunities, striking out 104 batters and walking 11 in 68 2/3 innings.

But it takes more than a dominant closer for a bullpen to lead the major leagues in ERA (3.35) and strikeouts (633) while throwing the most innings (590 2/3) in baseball.

It took a...

53°