Alexander: Veteran Ryan Madson shows his postseason mettle for Dodgers

first_img How Dodgers pitcher Ross Stripling topped the baseball podcast empire Dodgers’ Max Muncy trying to work his way out of slow start It is another case of conventional wisdom being, well, not totally wise. In a series expected to hinge on the depth and quality of the Brewers’ bullpen, Dodgers relievers have the better ERA, 0.91 to 3.15, and have allowed two inherited runners to score as opposed to the Brewers’ four.And the Brewers’ relievers have faced 104 batters over 25-2/3 innings. Even Josh Hader, making his second straight appearance, gave up a pair of hits Tuesday night, something of a dent in his invincibility.“The more you see guys, the more familiar you get with them and the more comfortable you get,” Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner said. “And it helps identify the plan of attack you want to have going into an at-bat. We’ve seen a lot of their bullpen guys, so I think you’re seeing some better at-bats off them.”And in the end, maybe the X-factor isn’t Hader, the blowtorch of a reliever who can throw three innings at a time but is in his first postseason. Maybe it’s the guy who has seen it, done it, has the rings to prove it and wants to get one [email protected]@Jim_Alexander on Twitter LOS ANGELES — It was no certainty that Ryan Madson was going to make the Dodgers’ postseason roster. The veteran reliever, obtained from Washington just before the Aug. 31 deadline for playoff eligibility, was not overwhelming in nine regular-season appearances, with a 6.48 ERA (6 earned runs in 8-1/3 innings). He had 13 strikeouts to one walk, which was good, but he had a 1.32 WHIP and a .282 opponents’ batting average, which wasn’t.And then the postseason started, and the veteran who possesses two World Series championship rings offered a reminder of just how valuable steely nerves and experience in the crucible of playoff baseball can be.Madson has pitched five times in this postseason, and opposing hitters have a .188 average and no one has scored. And he was particularly valuable in Tuesday night’s Game 4, even if his contribution in the seventh and eighth innings was long forgotten by the time the Dodgers wrapped up their series-tying 2-1 victory over the Brewers in 13 innings, nearly two hours later.Madson was called on to replace Caleb Ferguson with two out and the go-ahead run on third in the seventh. He needed two pitches to retire Lorenzo Cain on a grounder to second. Cody Bellinger homer gives Dodgers their first walkoff win of season Dodgers hit seven home runs, sweep Colorado Rockies center_img He went back out for the eighth inning and expended just 12 more pitches, giving up a slow roller for an infield single to Christian Yelich but striking out Ryan Braun, getting Jesús Aguilar on a pop-up and retiring Mike Moustakas on a liner to left center that Joc Pederson tracked down.It was overshadowed by Kenley Jansen’s successful two-inning stint, as well as spotless innings by Pedro Báez, Alex Wood, Dylan Floro and Julio Urias. But it extended some impressive postseason numbers.Madson has 51 career postseason appearances, fourth all-time and most among active pitchers. His 66 strikeouts trail only future Hall of Famer Mariano Rivera. And all told, he is 5-1 with two saves and a 2.61 ERA in postseason play following Tuesday night.“He’s been kind of the unsung hero of this team this year,” said Rich Hill, Tuesday night’s starting pitcher. “Ryan’s been unbelievable this postseason. I know he got myself out of a jam in Atlanta (in Game 4 of the Division Series), and what he did here tonight was huge, and a couple of days ago in Milwaukee (inheriting a second and third, one out, one in situation from Hyun-Jin Ryu in the fifth and limiting the Brewers to one additional run in a game the Dodgers ultimately came back to win).”Madson won a World Series with the Phillies in 2008, got back to the Series with the Phillies in 2009 against the Yankees, and was part of Kansas City’s championship club in 2015. Tough situations do not bother him. And he still can bring the heat, reaching 97 mph twice and 96 three times in his 14 pitches. Fire danger is on Dave Roberts’ mind as Dodgers head to San Francisco “Everybody in here is comfortable with him on the mound and excited when he’s pitching,” catcher Austin Barnes said. “Everybody trusts his stuff, and he’s been making some big pitches these whole playoffs for us. … He comes out and goes right after hitters. He knows what he wants to do, and he’s making some big pitches for us, getting us out of a lot of jams.”This is the eighth postseason for Madson, who was born in Long Beach and attended Valley View High in Moreno Valley. And it shows.“The way he’s throwing the ball, he’s without a pulse out there,” Hill said. “That’s huge, because when you have a guy like that with his experience in those situations, that’s who you want out there. You know he’s not going to be fazed by the situation or the environment.”Related Articles Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img

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