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Sidd Finch

Sidd Finch

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Here's yet another way to look at the Dodger pitching situation.

Indulge me again, if you will ...The number of innings that Dodger starting pitchers throw is irrelevant unless put in context with the overall team total.

To go to an extreme hypothetical, it would be perfectly fine for Dodger starting pitchers to average one inning per game if the bullpen comprised seven Sidd Finches who had no trouble handling the other eight innings.The Dodgers' needs are considerably more moderate.Through Thursday, Dodger starting pitchers averaged 5.63 innings per game, 0.18 below the National League average and 0.50 behind league-leading Chicago.

That's the difference the Dodger bullpen has had to make up.This season, Ramon Troncoso has thrown 19 percent of the Dodger relief innings, Ronald Belisario 17 percent and Jonathan Broxton 14 percent.�That means the effect of Dodger starting pitchers not leading the league in innings has been ......

Troncoso has had to get 0.10 extra innings per game....

Belisario has had to get 0.09 extra innings per game....

Broxton has had to get 0.07 extra innings per game.For Troncoso, the busiest pitcher, that's one extra inning every 10 games.That's it.Going forward, if all remains the same, that's all they'll have to do.

And that's without the Dodger starting pitchers improving by that small margin.

And that's without another relief pitcher taking on more of the load, something the Dodgers might afford with their large lead in the division, the resurgence of Guillermo Mota, the rise of Brent Leach or the emergence of another arm.That's nothing.Those guys may be working hard, but it's not the starting pitchers' fault.

And almost without exception, they have been getting plenty of rest.

Even Ronald Belisario's consecutive outings Thursday and Friday came after four days off.

The only thing the Dodgers need to worry about right now regarding their pitching is a dip in quality.� As far as quantity, I swear to you, they are doing fine.

Photo: Los Angeles Dodgers' Ramon Troncoso delivers a pitch during the eighth inning of the MLB baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks in April.

Credit: ROY DABNER / EPA.�

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/dodgerthoughts/2009/06/more-pitching.html
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