Although the sample size is small, since being activated from the disabled list after his recent acquisition by the Dodgers, former Giants closer and current Dodger reliever Brian Wilson has yet to allow a run.
In his three appearances since being activated on August 22, Wilson has allowed only three hits and one walk while striking out four, including the game-ending strikeout of Donnie Murphy in Monday night’s 6-2 win over the lowly Cubs to secure starter Zack Greinke’s 13th win of the season.
Wilson threw Murphy a steady diet of 87 to 89 MPH cutters and sliders (with a 93 MPH fastball mixed in) to get Murphy looking in the five-pitch at bat. The last pitch, an 87 MPH slider, was absolutely filthy and complete froze Murphy.
But in spite of Wilson’s immediate and continuing success, Dodger manager Don Mattingly said that Wilson’s role with the Dodgers will remain unchanged – that of an additional late-innings bridge man to get to closer Kenley Jansen when needed.
“Obviously we’re getting confidence in the way he’s throwing the ball,” said Mattingly of Wilson during his post-game interview on Monday night. “Tonight that really was more of a (Ronald Belisario) spot but Beli has been a little under the weather. We’ve got a lot of guys with coughs and viruses and stuff going on and Beli was a little under (the weather), but (Wilson’s) role will expand because he’s throwing the ball well.
“He’s given us what we wanted when we signed him. It gives us another quality arm back there in the closing innings in the game where we can spread out work where we don’t have to wear anybody out,” added Mattingly.
With Belisario, J.P. Howell, Paco Rodriguez and now Wilson as the most likely set-up men for closer Kenley Jansen, the Dodger bullpen is now even stronger and continues to be among the best in all of baseball – a very good thing with the Dodgers on the verge of securing their first playoff berth since 2009.