What Kind Of Games Are Happening In the Dodger Bullpen?

So here’s something fun: Twitter friend “JustOneMiss” comes through with an excellent find, of what what appears to a rudimentary scoreboard inside the Dodger bullpen area under the left field bleachers, taken during a stadium tour in late January.

(click to embiggen)

It’s fascinating, really, even though I have no idea what they’re tracking. It can’t be wins or saves; the first entry is for Ramon Troncoso on April 8, but he pitched a scoreless 7th inning in a 10-2 Dodger win. It can’t even just be for good performances, since April 16 shows Russ Ortiz, yet he gave up four earned runs over 1.2 innings.

But it does appear to have some correlation to in-game activity, since each of the names pitched that night. It also appears to have some connection to games the team won, since the April dates noted are all Dodger victories. So it seems that if the team loses, no one in the bullpen wins. Yet why, after Carlos “Monty” Monasterios gets noted for April 21, did no one pop up for the next eight days? The Dodgers did win on April 24 in Washington, an extra-inning affair in which Monasterios pitched 2.2 scoreless innings to get the win. Despite that omission, it’s clearly got something to do with Dodger victories, since you can see how long the May list is – it seems like forever ago now, but the Dodgers did go 20-8 that month.

If you look closely, the July 21 entry reads “Borzy/Flip”, clearly referencing bullpen catchers Mike Borzello and Rob Flippo. I suppose you can infer they earned some extra credit for Chad Billingsley‘s complete-game shutout of the Giants that night. There’s also a special notation of “Weaver #100″ on May 7, and that indeed is the day Jeff Weaver picked up his 100th career MLB victory – though apparently not enough to give him the nod over Ramon Troncoso in the bullpen olympics that night.

What I find most interesting here is that it’s not, as you might think, just a way to pass the time while at Dodger Stadium, because these are not all home games. Right off the bat, the April 8 game was in Pittsburgh, so they’re keeping score and on the road and bringing it back home.

It’s also an interesting way to see the progression of the bullpen as the season wore on. Mainstays Jonathan Broxton, Hong-Chih Kuo, and Ronald Belisario are listed the most, but every now and then you’ll see a Justin Miller, a Jon Link, a Travis Schlichting. We probably forget too often that relievers actually do have lives during the 23.75 hours a day they’re not actually in the ballgame, and seeing the winners from April who didn’t last with the team must be a stark reminder of the human element of baseball, staring at you on this board months later.

So have at it, MSTI I-Team. What are we looking at here? What did you have to do during a Dodger victory to earn enshrinement in the Sharpie Hall of Fame here? Tossing sunflower seeds into a hat? Who can get the most digits from girls in the bleachers? Pin the tail on the Ortiz?

0 comments