"One of the big reasons, obviously, of our success has been our late bullpen," manager Joe Torre said before Saturday's game. "And we've mixed and matched guys. There's been no definitive eighth-inning guy, although [Ramon] Troncoso seems to be that guy right now. But, I mean, Belasario has done a good job; Cory [Wade], the last three times out, he's been good."
All those arms Torre has at his disposal makes it so that he has the freedom to give guys nights off and prevents him from worrying about overworking a specific player. It's a luxury that will come in handy as the Dodgers push forward toward a run at the postseason.
"We've been mixing and matching, and the guys who've come in have gotten big outs," Torre said. "We've had the infield up or halfway and we've managed to get big outs. [Friday night] a couple of times we did that."
But as Torre admitted, it seems he might have found the pitcher he'll turn to on a regular basis to handle the setup duties for closer Jonathan Broxton in Troncoso.
With another strong appearance Saturday, Troncoso has tossed nine scoreless innings and hasn't allowed a run in 20 of his past 22 games. Torre said Troncoso's development has been a pleasant surprise this season.
"What he's turned into, basically being taken probably as maybe the last pitcher on the staff at the start of the season," Torre said. "Here he is, and doesn't shy away from pressure."
LAD: LHP Randy Wolf (3-1, 3.21 ERA)
Wolf has a tendency to start out shaky and that was the case against the D-backs, who loaded the bases in the first and second innings on Tuesday. He escaped by allowing just one run in the first, but Justin Upton slugged a grand slam in the second. Wolf restored order and held Arizona scoreless over the next four innings, giving the bullpen a rest in a game in which the Dodgers rallied to take the lead in the eighth.
PHI: LHP Antonio Bastardo (1-0, 1.50 ERA)
The 23-year-old left-hander made his Major League debut against the Padres on Tuesday, allowing one run on four hits, striking out five, walking one and hitting a batter in six strong innings. His fastball was topping out at 94-95. "I liked the way he pitched," said Phllies manager Charlie Manuel. "He surprised me with his fastball. I saw his slider and changeup in Spring Training and hopefully we'll see them more next time out." Manuel said that Bastardo's slider was coming out like a helicopter propeller with a little sweep to it. Bastardo was gripping his fastball hard at times and that is what made it ride up.
Andre Ethier's 12th-inning home run on Saturday was his second career walk-off homer. ... Hiroki Kuroda, who pitched six shutout innings on Saturday, has a 1.44 ERA in four career starts against the Phillies. ... The Dodgers (39-19) are a season-high 20 games above .500. ... The Dodgers are 4-2 against the Phillies this year.
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Tuesday: Dodgers (Chad Billingsley, 7-3, 2.59) vs. Padres (Chris Young, 4-4, 4.46), 7:10 p.m. PT
Wednesday: Dodgers (Clayton Kershaw, 3-4, 4.26) vs. Padres (TBD), 7:10 p.m. PT