In a season that has been filled with mostly disappointment and frustration, reliever Troy Brohawn has been a pleasant surprise. The left-hander, recalled from triple-A Las Vegas to bolster an overworked bullpen on April 8, hadn't allowed an earned run in 3 2/3 innings entering Wednesday night's game against San Diego.
The 30-year-old, who played for National League pennant-winning Arizona in 2001 and San Francisco in 2002, retired 11 of the 12 batters he faced, five on strikeouts, and has become an antidote for Giant slugger Barry Bonds, holding him hitless in nine career at-bats, three of them strikeouts.
"I have no explanation for that," said Brohawn, a slider/curveball specialist who relies more on location and movement than velocity. "I throw to my strength, to where I can locate the ball. I actually try to let him hit it, just not in the sweet spot. I respect him a great deal, but I'm not afraid to pitch to him, walk him or pitch around him."
Manager Jim Tracy is not afraid to use Brohawn in any situation; Brohawn, who retired Bonds three times last weekend, is durable enough to throw four innings and resilient enough to throw three, four or five days in a row.
"I'm not a power pitcher," Brohawn said. "The more I get out there, the sharper I am. I'd throw every single day if I could."
An MRI test and bone scan on pitcher Odalis Perez's sprained right ankle Wednesday were negative, and the left-hander remained hopeful he could make Saturday night's scheduled start against San Francisco.
"It feels a lot better today," Perez said Wednesday. "There's no [serious] damage in there. I feel a lot better about it. It's better to miss one start than two or three months."
Tracy would like Perez to complete a bullpen workout today before committing to him for Saturday. If Perez can't go against the Giants, reliever Andy Ashby would start.
A new-and-improved bench was supposed to complement a more potent lineup this season, but through 14 games, Dodger reserves were struggling as much as the starters.
Entering Wednesday's game, reserves Jolbert Cabrera, Daryle Ward, Todd Hundley, Ron Coomer, Mike Kinkade and Jason Romano combined to hit .189 (10 for 53) with 11 walks, 10 strikeouts and six runs batted in. Even worse, Dodger pinch-hitters were hitless in 19 at-bats.