The Los Angeles Dodgers acquired Mike Bolsinger from the Arizona Diamondbacks for mere cash considerations back in November. Now nearly two months into the regular season a pitcher who was designated for assignment prior to being traded, and one who figured to be Minor-League depth, is filling a key hole for a team with World Series aspirations.
Bolsinger had been nothing short of solid through his first three starts with the Dodgers. He pitched at least 5.2 innings in all three outings and didn’t allow more than one run in each start. On Saturday he was spectacular.
Following in the footsteps of another dominant outing, Bolsinger threw eight shutout innings, had eight strikeouts and faced the minimum. Yangervis Solarte opened the game with a base hit only to be erased on a double play the next batter.
After another successful start, more praise was heaped on Bolsinger, who has exceeded manager Don Mattingly’s expectation to simply keep the Dodgers in the game. “He’s really spinning it and he threw a lot of strikes today,” Mattingly said. “He was pretty much ahead in the count and on the attack the whole night. A lot more of the same.”
While Bolsinger retired 23 batters in a row, throwing a complete game was out of the question. “No true thought to letting him go back out in the ninth,” Mattingly added. Bolsinger has previously described himself as a “backwards pitcher” and compared his approach to that of Dan Haren’s; he again credited his curveball and slider after another successful outing.
A.J. Ellis got a firsthand look at Bolsinger Saturday and thought the right-hander was in full command. “He kept the Padres in between speeds all night long,” Ellis said. “He really executed extremely well.”
Although Bolsinger has only made four starts this season, his results are night-and-day when compared to his time with the Diamondbacks in 2014. Just don’t ask the right-hander to explain it. “I don’t know. Something just clicked in my head. I’m locked in.”
Bolsinger improved to 3-0 and lowered his ERA to a minute 0.71. His contributions have certainly been welcomed, if not necessary. However, it’s no secret the Dodgers won’t hesitate to add a starting pitcher if the opportunity presents itself, but that isn’t on Bolsinger’s radar.
“I’m just going to keep pitching,” he said. “And try to put up wins for my team. Whatever happens, happens.”