Los Angeles Dodgers Bullpen Posts Historic Stretch to Begin Playoffs

Bleacher Report MilestonesB/R StaffOctober 17, 2017

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 14:  Kenley Jansen #74 of the Los Angeles Dodgers pitches against the Chicago Cubs  in the eighth inning during Game One of the National League Championship Series against the Chicago Cubs at Dodger Stadium on October 14, 2017 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

After Sunday's 4-1 victory over the Chicago Cubs in Game 2 of the National League Championship Series, the Los Angeles Dodgers hold a 2-0 lead in their best-of-seven series.

While the team's offense has been solid over the first two games, scoring nine runs, the bullpen has made history to start the series. Prior to the 2017 NLCS, no bullpen in MLB history had ever opened a playoff series by retiring 24 consecutive batters, per Elias Sports Bureau (via ESPN.com). 

During the first two games of the series, Dodgers relievers have combined to pitch eight innings and faced 24 batters. Over those frames, they haven't surrendered a single hit or walk and have struck out nine batters.

The entire bullpen has been integral to the team's success, but closer Kenley Jansen has been in a class of his own. He's appeared in both games of the NLCS and pitched 2.1 innings, fanning six batters and collecting both a save and a win. 

Over the course of the 2017 postseason, Jansen has pitched six innings in five games, giving up just two hits.

Jansen's postseason dominance should not come as much of a surprise. During the regular season, he posted a 1.32 ERA and 0.75 WHIP while converting 41 of his 42 save opportunities. This marked his second consecutive season with a sub-2.00 ERA and 40-plus saves. 

The Dodgers, who are 5-0 this postseason, will look to extend their lead over the Cubs and add to their bullpen's record in Game 3 on Tuesday night in Chicago (9:01 p.m. ET). 

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