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Dodgers' bullpen success contrasts Astros' concerns

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The Dodgers scorched their way to the World Series with an unforgiving bullpen. It did not surrender a run in 21 2 3 innings of the National League Championship Series against the Cubs. It has a 0.94 ERA in the entire postseason.With more focus than ever on bullpen usage in baseball, the Dodgers' success has juxtaposed a woeful performance by Astros relievers.Months of concerns about the Astros' bullpen whose 4.27 ERA finished the regular season ranked 17th in the majors came to fruition in the playoffs. Closer Ken Giles pitched pitifully in his first postseason. He allowed an earned run in each of his first three outings but the Astros led enough that he did not blow those games. Then he folded disastrously in Game 4 of the American League Championship Series, allowing four runs to score and two earned in the Yankees' comeback that evened the series. By Game 6 on Friday Jeff Bagwell Jersey, he stood on the Minute Maid Park mound with a 9.00 ERA, and a fragile opportunity to better his reputation.Not even a six-run lead could pacify the nerves of Astros fans when he pitched the ninth inning. He fought back from 2-0 to induce a fly out from Greg Bird. But then Giles, who appeared not to command his fastball well, allowed a single to Starlin Castro and a walk to Aaron Hicks.Giles mitigated the worst fears with a fly out and an emphatic three-pitch strikeout to end the game. With his first scoreless outing in the books, his October ERA lowered to 7.50.The bullpen's ERA remained a nerve-racking 5.83 ERA this postseason. Francisco Liriano and Luke Gregerson, who combined for 1.2 innings, were the only relievers not to allow a run through six games of the ALCS. A.J. Hinch indicated that nearly all hands would be on deck to pitch Game 7. The Astros seemed to need them, considering Charlie Morton's two short postseason starts prior.Despite the potential mismatch with the Dodgers' bullpen, if the Astros were to advance to the World Series they would feel relieved for the privilege of worrying about their bullpen https://www.astrosfansgear.com/Astros_Roy_Oswalt_Jersey-242.

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