Dodgers News: Doc Wants Craig Kimbrel to Focus on Outs, Not Strikeouts

Dodgers closer Craig Kimbrel needs to get back to closing

The Dodgers seem to be doing no wrong as they lead the MLB in wins heading into the postseason. Even with the success, one aspect of the Dodgers sticks out like a sore thumb, the ability to close games with Craig Kimbrel on the mound. 

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Kimbrel’s fourth blown save of the season capped off what was an uglier series than the Dodgers have been used to throughout the season. Kimbrel was given a second chance after his blown save and came out with the save, but it definitely wasn’t pretty. 

Kimbrel still has a chance to make-up for his blown saves while fans are worried about what kind of implications this will have heading into the postseason. Dave Roberts still trusts in his man, but believes Kimbrel chasing strikeouts is the reason for his recent downfall (quotes via SportsNet LA). 

“I think that I’ve shown continued confidence in him, which I will continue to do. But, I think he’s being too fine at times and I think he has the ability to be more efficient. I think sometimes, to be quite honest, I think he’s chasing the strikeout instead of chasing outs. I just want to see consistent outs.”

Kimbrel currently holds a 4.46 ERA which would mark the highest of his career while delivering a 28.7% strikeout rate, which is also his lowest of his career. The patience is running thin for Kimbrel. 

“When you’re throwing 19 pitches an inning, it just takes away from your utility. … He’s getting strike one, then he starts to be too fine. And then when the hitter gets back in the count, you can’t be fine anymore. So now you’re getting pitches that are spoiled. We want outs. I don’t care how they come.”

It will be interesting to see how Doc handles Kimbrel moving forward before it’s too late. 

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