In a way, Wolf outpitched Oswalt. Though both starters gave up 4 runs, Wolf went 7 innings, while Oswalt went 6. So the Dodgers had three innings to score off of Astro relievers, while the Astros just had two innings ( if needed ). If the Dodger bullpen is a team strength, then you would have to like the Dodger's chances to win the game in these circumstances.
Maybe it's not a team strength. It wasn't last night, when the Astros won the battle of the 'pens. The Dodger 'pen has not been awful overall, not with an ERA of 3.66, but the list of bullpen pitchers you can really trust when you get down to it has one name on it: Broxton.
Troncoso has been pretty good so far, too, but he hasn't really been tested yet, and I can't really trust him yet. Both Ohman and Elbert have allowed two home runs in limited work. Elbert might amount to something if he's given a chance, but I would be surprised if Ohman lasts all season with the Dodgers. Kuo has the potential to be a good one, but wildness is making him into another headache. All four of these guys are in the "hold your breath when they come in" category.
Fortunately the Dodgers only have one truly and unmistakably awful reliever so far, and that is Mota, with 6 walks and no strikeouts in 5 innings. Signing him was just an awful move by Colletti, in the same category as the Pierre signing because the upside just wasn't there. It was wasted money the moment the contract was signed.
And then there is Belisario. His numbers look pretty good. He's pitched the most innings of any Dodger reliever, and has more than a strikeout per inning with not many walks. So why don't I trust him? Well, the Dodgers have twice brought him in with a one run lead and both times he coughed up the lead. His fastball has been compared to a 95 mph bowling ball by scouts, but so far in the crucial frames he's thrown gutter balls.
I wonder why Broxton couldn't have been brought in for the eighth inning, with the Astros best hitters coming up. He's the closer, so he's the ninth inning guy, but he's also the best reliever and the only one you can really trust, so he should be the crucial inning guy, right? And the eighth was the crucial inning. That was apparent even before Belisario gave up two runs. But that's not the way things are done.
Belisario gets one of the unfair loss shares, and he probably deserves a second one. But the loser's anti-podium ( a sort of fancy pit, really ) is too crowded for him to double up. Kemp is there with his broken hitting streak and failure to score a runner from third with one out in the seventh inning. The last place must go to either Hudson or Furcal for their mostly inept rally-starting efforts yesterday. Both were 1-5 and both failed to set the table for Manny in the ninth but Furcal gets it because he also committed an error.
Oh yeah, and I'll be damned if I'm going to give that punk IRod an unfair win share for merely hitting a stupid little ground ball up the middle, even if it did drive in the winning run. Berkman and Pence or more deserving offensive heroes, and Hawkins also deserves recognition for keeping Manny from batting in the ninth with a slim one run lead ( just imagine how relieved Astro fans must have been that Manny didn't come up ) and for not jumping around like a Valverdean jackass after he struck out Hudson.
Unfair Loss Shares ( Dodgers )
Belisario -- 1
Kemp -- 1
Furcal -- 1
Unfair Win Shares ( Astros )
Berkman -- 1
Pence -- 1
Hawkins -- 1