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A First Step for the Dodgers Bullpen?

Jason Bay hitting a three-run double in the eighth inning off of Travis Schlichting to give the Mets a 6-1 lead on Friday night. AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill
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After Jack Taschner gave up a single to Jose Reyes in the sixth inning of Saturday’s Dodger game against the New York Mets, the Dodger bullpen did not give up a hit for the remaining 7 2/3 inning giving some optimism to the much maligned lot. “I hope so,” manager Joe Torre said when asked about whether this was a step in the right direction.

This included the left-handed pitcher George Sherrill who after making nine pitches to retire the side in the top of the 13th inning got his first win of the season.

“There’s a certain mentality that has to take hold,” Torre said of pitching in pressure situations. “Yesterday [Sherrill] came in and he either had to go out there and do well or not. Yesterday’s pressure was more of what he’s been used to, and it was nice to see how he responded since he pitched to an impressive part of the lineup.”

Torre isn’t ready to crown this as the best bullpen yet.

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“The trick is repeating it. Hopefully we can see that.”

With the bullpen depleted from yesterday’s game, the only pitchers Torre definitively ruled out from being available today was Hong-Chih Kuo and Jeff Weaver. For the rest of the bullpen and closer Jonathan Broxton, “We’ll wait and see.”

Newly called up reliever Kenley Jansen made his Major League debut in the seventh inning of yesterday’s game and made 14 pitches to strike out Angel Pagan and David Wright and getting Carlos Beltran to ground out to shortstop. Despite converting from catcher to reliever about a year ago, Torre would not be afraid of using him today. But that’s not the doozy.

“I wouldn’t be afraid of closing him today.”