Whicker: Dylan Floro has been a Titan in the Dodgers bullpen

first_img Dodgers hit seven home runs, sweep Colorado Rockies Until this year Floro had pitched 12 games for Tampa Bay and three for the Cubs. He got his first regular work for the Reds, and indeed pitched a perfect inning here in May when they swept the Dodgers.But he was just another marcher in a parade of innumerable right-handed pitchers. Somehow the Dodgers separated the face from the crowd.“This is the most fun I’ve had,” Floro said. “There’s no feeling like pitching in big situations in big ballgames. It’s the first time I’ve had an opportunity to do it on this level, and it’s nice to know I’ve been able to handle it.”With the Dodgers, Floro has significantly changed his patterns. He featured sinkers and changeups before. Now he’s relying on four-seamers and sliders.“I still throw some changeups, but in this role, I can’t afford to make any mistakes,” Floro said. “It’s better if I just go with the two pitches. Any pitch can decide the ballgame.“I tried to throw more four-seamers earlier in the year just to get hitters off my two-seamer, and I’ve basically been trying to throw the slider harder. Mainly it’s been nice to know I’m going to get chances even if I have a rough night, and I’ve had a couple of those.”On Aug. 18, Floro was the first responder in the 10th inning. Ferguson left him a first-and-second situation with one out. Floro walked Nelson Cruz, then faced Kyle Seager. He gathered himself for the next pitch, and suddenly the Seattle dugout was frothing, with people pointing and yelling, and the umpire pointed, too.That’s the problem with a balk. As a pitcher, you know what you did, at least a split-second before everyone else. That was a 5-4 loss, and it came six days after Floro walked home Chris Iannetta in the ninth inning at Colorado.But it also was the only inherited runner, out of 12, that Floro has allowed to cross the plate as a Dodger.Related Articles LOS ANGELES — If this Dodgers’ ship really does come in, you’ll see plenty of dents and cracks in the hull, maybe some seaweed around the propeller.But the navigation system, so far, is fine.The obstacles have risen on a weekly basis. All have been avoided. The Dodgers haven’t had Corey Seager, and they didn’t start out with Justin Turner, and twice they had to do without Clayton KershawBut those were just the personnel issues. How about the structural stuff? How about the headline starting pitcher they needed and the veteran setup reliever for which they cried? They took no obvious steps to get either one. How Dodgers pitcher Ross Stripling topped the baseball podcast empire And here they are, with a game-and-a-half lead in the National League West going into Wednesday night.Sign up for our Inside the Dodgers newsletter. Be the best Dodger fan you can be by getting daily intel on your favorite team. Subscribe here.Walker Buehler started the third game of the Colorado series. He was on the ship all along, but few thought he’d be the drum major of the rotation in mid-September.As for the bullpen, well, the Dodgers have bobbed and weaved their way to this position with a lot of Caleb Ferguson, Scott Alexander, and former-and-future starter Kenta Maeda.On July 4 they dealt minor league pitchers James Marinan and Aneurys Zabala to Cincinnati for some international bonus money and pitcher Dylan Floro. It did not bust any blocks. There’s a good chance it didn’t make the “crawl” on MLB Network.But Floro pitched the last two outs of the 10th inning on Tuesday night and got that win, and he has worked 27 innings with 14 hits, one home run and a dazzling WHIP of 0.852. Cody Bellinger homer gives Dodgers their first walkoff win of season center_img Fire danger is on Dave Roberts’ mind as Dodgers head to San Francisco Dodgers’ Max Muncy trying to work his way out of slow start Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Floro was the Big West Conference Pitcher of the Year at Cal State Fullerton in 2012, going 10-4 with a 2.83 ERA. He was the Friday Night guy, playing with Matt Chapman (now with Oakland) and Michael Lorenzen (Cincinnati).You might think it’s the last time Floro pitched with pressure, except it really wasn’t. Pressure is when you’ve been DFA’d (Designated For Assignment), when you’ve been cordially asked to tidy up your locker and head for Des Moines.“I said when I came up I wanted to prove something,” he said, “and I think I have to an extent, but I have to be realistic. It’s really my first year.”What the Dodgers have proved, or re-proved, is their resourcefulness in finding gold in someone else’s garbage.Max Muncy was released by Oakland, Chris Taylor was no longer wanted in Seattle, and you can go back to Grant Dayton and Andrew Toles and Rob Segedin. There are baseball players everywhere, as it turns out, and some just need a big blue rescue ship to find them.last_img

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