In another game that was very much winnable, the Dodgers fell to the Guardian’s in Sunday’s finale, allowing Cleveland to take the series at Dodger Stadium two games to one.
About the only good news of the entire series was seeing a healthy and happy Sandy Koufax, with the club mustering a decent effort on Saturday to commemorate the legendary southpaw’s incredible legacy with the franchise.
After a scoreless first inning in the finale, the game got a little messy in the second when Eddy Alvarez misplayed a flyball from Oscar Mercado, who eventually came around to score three batters later.
Skipper Dave Roberts appeared content with Alvarez handling the right field duties, even though Alvarez had just seven big league innings of experience in right field compared to an even 158 innings from Zach McKinstry, who was recalled to the big-league squad earlier in the day.
Regardless, the Dodgers tied the game in the bottom of the frame after Chris Taylor scored when Gavin Lux stroked his ninth double of the season to center.
Los Angeles took the lead in the third when Freddie Freeman hit a solo shot to the center field bleachers, and for a moment, it seemed like lefty starter Andrew Heaney had a legitimate shot of winning his first game back from the injury list.
Nonetheless, Roberts pulled Heaney after he surrendered a game-tying home run to Oscar Gonzalez and a subsequent walk to Josh Naylor at the onset of the sixth inning. In all, Heaney went five full innings and threw 77 pitches, allowing five hits and one earned run with seven punchouts and a walk.
The Dodgers went back out in front in the seventh inning when Trea Turner drove home Alvarez, giving the bullpen a shot to secure the game and walk away with a series win. However, Alex Vesia and Daniel Hudson’s efforts in the top of the eighth resulted in Steven Kwan scoring after Richie Palacios doubled to right, tying the game at three.
Craig Kimbrel took the hill for the Dodgers in the ninth inning and picked right up where he left off with his season-long ineffectiveness and inconsistencies.
Kimbrel struck out Owen Miller to start the frame, but he followed by walking Gonzalez and surrendering a double to Naylor. Next, Kimbrel intentionally walked Kwan to load the bases, and gave up a single to Andres Gimenez that scored both Gonzalez and Naylor. Those two runs gave the Guardians a 5-3 lead heading into the bottom of the ninth and ultimately the series win.
Eli Morgan was the pitcher of record for the Guardians, improving his record to 3-2. Emmanuel Clase pitched a perfect ninth to record his 15th save of the year.
25 thoughts on “Kimbrel, Dodgers Fall to Guardians in Weekend Series”
It’s turning into quite the battle for the division.
Machado left the SD game today with what appeared to be a bad ankle sprain. No word yet, but they seem to think he’ll definitely be out for a while.
So……….our biggest threat is now without Tatis Jr and Machado.
While we play without Muncy, Bellinger and JT, and now Mookie.
We need another righty bat and I present for your consideration, the Marlins’ outfielder/first baseman/DH Garrett Cooper. A so-so fielder but a very good hitter. Lifetime OPS+ of 120 and this year it’s 139. He’s 31, and isn’t a free agent until after next year. Making a paltry 2.5 mil this season and he’s a local kid. Do it Andrew!
Maybe the Dodgers’ biggest threat is Craig Kimbrel. I still think he’s on Farhan’s “underground payroll.”
If they’re looking for a righty bat, maybe AJ Pollock is available.
Although AJ hasn’t been as bad as Kimbrel, he’s been pretty awful himself. An OPS+ of 93 which means he’s a below league average hitter in 2022.
On the other hand, compared to the Terrible Triplets (Muncy/Belli/JT) he’s still an improvement.
The great news for the series was how well Kershaw and Heaney looked as they stretch out from being on the IL. Urias is definitely a great example of why W-L records are irrelevant as he is pitching as well if not better than last year.
Yep, they bring up McKinstry a player with a lot of OF experience and they go with Alvarez with NO experience, and an AVG, OBP, and SLG at 200 make perfect sense to me…Roberts is an idiot.
How can you maintain a rally with only 3 players hitting the ball well?
Can they afford to continue to play JT and Muncy with their poor rate of contact and poor fielding?
This is actually good for the team as it puts more of a spotlight on Roberts. He usually has such an overwhelming advantage of talent it doesn’t matter he is a poor strategist. I know dominant managers like Lasorda are out of favor but he would never have allowed this team to play such poor fundamental baseball. Very tired of watching guys with RISP swinging for the fences instead of attempting to advance the runner. Horrible.
How about acknowledging JT is over the hill and with Rios out bring up Vargas and start him at 3rd. Let Muncy and JT platoon the DH spot? Vargas makes contact!!
If Friedman had paid Jansen, there would have been no reason to trade for Kimmel and we would still have an excellent OF and hitter in Pollock. We also could have resigned Joc and been better off. Some were describing this offense as having historical potential. It doesn’t with Muncy hitting barely .150 ( why is he hitting in 4-5 spots?), and JT and Bellinger barely staying above the Mendoza line.
Friedman was trying to cut payroll, since he had no idea what the Bauer hit would be.
Pollock is making 13 mil this year and is having a very mediocre year, which only looks even passable because we’re comparing it to the Three Musketeers (Belli/JT/Max).
When we had AJ, lots of people were complaining that we should get rid of him. Then, when we get rid of him, people really miss him.
So, performance aside, Andrew accomplished what he wanted. He eliminated 29 mil in payroll and took on 16 mil.
I don’t think anyone could have predicted that our trio would have been as horrendous as they’ve been. One of them, maybe. Two, not likely. All three, impossible. Yet, here they are, an anchor to the lineup that may ultimately sink the ship.
they need to get kimbrell out of the close role he is killing them
Ironically Kimbrell pitching the 9th inning should have been a better situation to use him than in a high leverage role. Hudson had already pitched in the highest leverage situation in the game. Kimbrell got to start an inning with no one on and no outs. That should have been easier than Hudson’s situation.
Kimbrel is turning into a liability. Not sure how to handle it, but I think a new strategy for innings 6-9 is needed. Close by committee would be the general definition, details to be worked out.
Why in the hell is Alvarez, an infielder, playing RF?
Because he’s a two-time, two-sport Olympic Gold Medal Winner? That means he can do anything.
Might be a decent reliever.
And because they insist on carrying 14 pitchers and we have no OF depth above AA except for career minor leaguers. It was a huge mistake not signing Jansen which resulted in trading Pollock.
Yep and has the Avg.OBP & SLG All at 200 to prove it! LOL
The manager and coaches are supposed to get the best out of the players. That has been lacking with the Dodgers during the Robert’s era. The roster has consistently under performed their talent level.
Would have made more sense to put Taylor in RF, Lux in LF. Roberts Said he wanted to get Alvarez in the lineup for his bat? He seems to like those sub .200 hitters.
Isn’t Trayce Thompson another one of those sub-.200 hitters?
Andrew is constructing a new team, all sub .200 hitters.
They will be called the Los Angeles Mendozas.
I think he has invited Scotty Van Slyke to a batting cage session later this week.
Scott is not eligible for the Mendozas. Lifetime bat avg of .242, although he did hit below .200 in his first and last seasons.
.205 Lifetime that is buoyed up by his rookie year of 2015 when he hit .295. That potential fooled LA into trading for him the first time. He was 1-14 with Padres earlier this year but has hit .305 with 17 homers in only 154 ABs in AAA this year. If he hits .205 that is 50 points higher than Muncy and in JTs and Bellinger’s neighborhood, sad to say. I expect he will hit an occasional HR and K 40% of the time. Darn it, I hate being so negative.
Lightening in a bottle? He was after all putting up AAA numbers as good as anyone we have.
I don’t know about this. Still feels to me if the guys we pay big to produce big don’t produce, we will flounder until they do.