Joe Beimel and the Playoffs: Deadly Combination?

Molly GraySenior Analyst ISeptember 30, 2008

If you ask any Los Angeles Dodgers fan how left-handed reliever Joe Beimel has performed for their team during the postseason, they will most likely roll their eyes and mutter something about how he hasn’t gotten a chance to play in any playoff games because “he’s an idiot.”

Unlike most times a disgruntled fan calls a player an idiot, they’d be right.

In 2006, the Dodgers were set for a first-round series with the New York Mets, with the first two games being played in New York. Two nights before the opening matchup, Beimel found himself at a bar.

He managed to slice open his pitching hand on a broken beer bottle and was rendered unable to play, even after getting stitches.

To make matters worse, Beimel lied about the incident at first, saying that he'd cut his hand in the hotel bathroom. When he did finally come out with the truth of the accident, coaches and teammates were angered and hurt.

The Dodgers went on to lose the series in a sweep due to many problems, but a partial bullpen was definitely a big one.

Beimel has reportedly been sober since the 2006 playoffs, and his dedication to the team in reparation has paid off; they have a second chance at the postseason with the Chicago Cubs this week.

The first game of the series is set to be played on Wednesday night, and you can be sure that Beimel won’t be anywhere near broken glass. He’s been quoted as saying that “[He’s] going to buy a straightjacket (sic) and chain [himself] to the bed and hang out....[He’s] not going to take any chances of something stupid happening.”

This postseason is the perfect time for Beimel to prove that he is out to redeem himself, as fellow left-handed reliever Hong-Chih Kuo is out of commission with an elbow injury. Beimel is also up for free agency this year, and, with a strong performance against the Cubs, he could see his demand rise.

Beimel currently has an ERA of 2.02 and is 5-1 on the season, having appeared in a team-high 71 games. The 31-year-old also hasn’t allowed a home run in 104 consecutive appearances, dating back to the 2007 season.

He is 3-0 against Chicago and has a lifetime ERA of 1.54. Beimel has only allowed one earned run in over 16 innings in his career at Wrigley Field.

Is Beimel the secret to the Dodgers winning in the postseason? Probably not, although you might have thought so had you seen the grief he received two years ago.

Regardless, he is a strength of this Los Angeles team, and will definitely be an aiding force when it’s time to play ball on Wednesday.