Let’s Talk About the Dodgers Bullpen

If you had told Los Angeles Dodgers fans on Thursday, before the start of the four game series with the San Diego Padres, that the Dodgers would take three of four, most would be incredibly happy with that.

Indeed, that is something to be happy about. The Dodgers increased their lead in the NL West by two games and now are 3.5 games ahead of the Padres.

Sunday’s game was the only loss. Mookie Betts returned to the lineup after having been out dealing with a sore rib and went two-for-three with a run scored. Clayton Kershaw was his vintage self, going seven scoreless innings, striking out eight and walking only one batter.

But the end of Sunday’s matinee game will leave a sour taste in Dodger fans’ mouths for awhile. The Dodgers were up 1-0 in the top of the ninth and Craig Kimbrel entered to close out the game. He struck out Manny Machado, but then on the next batter, took a ball off of his scapula. He stayed in the game, but ended up giving up four runs, and the Padres went on to win the game.

It could be that the hit off his back led him to not pitch well after he was hit. But more likely, he is just not as good as he once was, and becoming a detriment to the bullpen. Since May 15, he has been scored upon more often than not. Sunday was his third blown save in his last seven appearances.

After the game, Manager Dave Roberts said that scans on Kimbrel’s back were negative, and he would be down for a couple days. When he returns, he absolutely will still be the closer, because “he deserves that”.

But should he? Yes, the Dodgers made the choice to send AJ Pollock to the Chicago White Sox to acquire the closer. And yes, he started the season pretty dominant. And yes, the bullpen is a little depleted right now due to injury.

But at the same time, a ‘closer’ is brought in to close out the game. To shut the door. To not even let the other team get on base, let alone score runs.

No closer is infallible, of course. Pitchers are human and have bad days. But with Kimbrel, it seems he is either really good or really bad, and you’re never quite sure what you’re going to get. Except lately, it has trended much more towards really bad.

Blake Treinen would be the obvious choice for replacing Kimbrel as closer. That is, once he returns from the injured list. Unfortunately that timetable is still unclear.

“Blake, I was watching throw, he’s really good and it’s close,” Roberts said. “But what that means I can’t even specify right now. But yeah, he’s been tracking really well.”

Until then, perhaps the Dodgers could turn to Evan Phillips. He has been just as dominant so far this season as Treinen has been in past seasons. Caleb Ferguson also is due to return to the bullpen at the end of his IL stint. Dustin May could be deployed as a lethal arm out of the ‘pen as he works his way back from Tommy John surgery. While he wouldn’t necessarily be the closer, David Price has looked really good in his last few appearances. And the Dodgers still have returns from David Robertson and Tommy Kahnle to look forward to towards the end of the season.

Until then, however, the Dodgers will continue to put Craig Kimbrel out in the ninth inning. If nothing else, the Dodgers and Dave Roberts go above and beyond believing in their players that they will once again regain their form. Let’s just hope that this tactic helps them more than harms.

Thoughts About the Los Angeles Dodgers, Freddie Freeman, and Hangovers

Most people understand what a good hangover is. Many people will equate that to a night where they just had a little too much adult libations but it can come from all sorts of things. Maybe just not drinking enough water the day before to having an huge emotion experience in your life that drained you and you need time to just recover.

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Off Days Come at Perfect Time for Slumping Dodgers

When the Los Angeles Dodgers are good, they are very very good, and when they are bad, they are horrid.

Now, horrid may actually a little too harsh a word, but things were not great for the Dodgers this past weekend in San Francisco. Los Angeles was swept by the Giants, and only managed to score four runs total despite having an incredible amount of chances to score in each game.

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Thoughts on the Dodgers Season So Far

The Los Angeles Dodgers are in first place in the NL West, and have the fourth best record in all of baseball.

For most teams, fans would be thrilled with that last statement. To have your team in the position to be one of the best in baseball and have a solid chance at the postseason is really all you as a sports fan could ask for.

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Dodgers News and Notes – Injury Updates, NL West and More

The Los Angeles Dodgers may very well be happy to see the month of May in the rear view mirror. It included the longest road trip of the season, and most a stretch where they played 31 games in 30 days.

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Thoughts on the Dodgers Past Week and a Look Ahead at the Diamondbacks Series

Well that was a week of baseball worth forgetting about.

The Los Angeles Dodgers finished their week at 2-5, and nearly were swept in a four game series by the Philadelphia Phillies. They had already lost two of three to the Pittsburgh Pirates, and the Dodgers were thoroughly owned by teams from the great Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

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Dodgers News and Notes: Roster Trimmed to 26, Tommy Kahnle’s Dodger Debut and More

The Los Angeles Dodgers are starting the month of May statistically tied for first place with the San Diego Padres, and only 0.5 games ahead of the San Francisco Giants. If they would like to put a little breathing room between themselves and these two teams, this month would be a good time to do it.

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The Good, The Bad and The Ugly from the First Month of 2022 Dodgers Baseball

April is coming to a close and along with it the first month of the 2022 season. Right now, the Los Angeles Dodgers are 12-6, and in second place in the NL West, 0.5 games behind the San Francisco Giants.

Overall, the Dodgers have played well. But for as talented and stacked as this team is, they are still leaving some things to be desired. But we will start with the best parts of the team.

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Dodgers News and Notes – Bellinger Player of the Week, Dodgers Pitching Dominance and More

Through the Los Angeles Dodgers Spring Training and into the start of the season, fans wondered about Cody Bellinger and if he would ever regain his 2019 NL MVP status.

Bellinger looked lost at the plate in Spring Training, striking out a lot and barely getting the bat on the ball. He was tinkering much with his swing, trying to find his form. He quipped that he was just getting his “punchies” (his word for strikeouts) out of the way in Spring Training.

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Dodgers News and Notes- Update on Heaney’s Shoulder, Bauer’s Leave Extended, and More

The Los Angeles Dodgers have just finished their first home stand of the season, going 7-1 combined against the Cincinnati Reds and the Atlanta Braves. After a day off on Thursday, they will be heading down the California coast to face division rivals San Diego Padres for a three games set ay PetCo Park.

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