Evan Phillips is the closer for the Los Angeles Dodgers and is in his first year in that role after being a high-leverage guy in 2022.
Phillips has pitched very well this year recording 23 saves out of his 26 opportunities with a 2.38 ERA and a 0.85 WHIP in 56.2 innings.
The new role meant that Phillips would have to approach games differently knowing that most of the time he is pitching he has only a 1 or 2-run lead and the game is on his shoulders.
Hearts start racing, hands start sweating, and legs and arms twitch as the stadium, home or away, roars with thousands of fans cheering.
Phillips didn’t let anything get to him, and he won the closing role this year after the Dodgers entered the year without a designated closer.
“I think letting things kind of [sort out] organically was most beneficial for our group, because it kept my role loose, and I was able to do different things here and there to make sure we had the best opportunity to win a ballgame,” Phillips said.(via Mike Digiovanna, The Los Angeles Times)
Phillips will be the closer for the Dodgers in the postseason and everyone has his back and is confident with him taking the mound to finish out October baseball games.
That confidence in that role also strengthened due to a mid-season addition of Ryan Brasier, the Dodgers’ now high-leverage bullpen arm.
The Boston Red Sox waived Brasier after posting a 7.29 ERA in 21 innings of work in 2023. Brasier was claimed by the Dodgers after needing bullpen help as arms continued to struggle early in the year.
Since then, Brasier has been one of the best bullpen arms in the MLB. In 35 innings Brasier has posted a 0.77 ERA with a 0.66 WHIP.
Brasier started out by pitching regular innings out of the pen and then the team slowly started increasing the tension by putting him in close or tight outings. Now, Brasier comes in during the biggest moments of the game and continues to shut batters down.
Phillips has noticed Brasier’s work and praised him for allowing him to settle into the new role.
“But things have definitely ironed themselves out quite a bit, in large part due to [setup man] Ryan Brasier’s ability to pitch the way he has and take down big parts of the order in big moments, along with some of our other mainstays who have done it throughout the year. That’s allowed me to kind of settle into this role.”(via Mike Digiovanna, The Los Angeles Times)
Phillips and Brasier are the mainstays for the Dodgers bullpen in October and fans can expect to see the 1-2 punch shutdown games in the postseason.
Photo Credit: Stephen Brashear-USA TODAY Sports
We’re giving away an authentic Mookie Betts jersey. All you have to do is subscribe to our YouTube Channel! Subscribe and hit that notification bell to stay up to date on all the latest Dodgers news, rumors, interviews, live streams, and more!