Despite screwing up three of his last seven save attempts, Craig Kimbrel is still Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts' go-to man to end a game.
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Additionally, Kimbrel has posted an abysmal 6.28 ERA in his last 15 outings.
Despite these statistics, Roberts “never even considered” changing the identity of his rescue specialist. "I think he deserves it," said the manager, whose remarks were picked up by the Los Angeles Times, about Kimbrel's position, adding that the decision is "still quite easy [to make]", considering given the numerous injuries plaguing the Dodgers bullpen.
In his most recent outing, early in the ninth inning of Game 4 of the series against the San Diego Padres on Sunday, Kimbrel was tasked with securing a 1-0 lead to allow the Dodgers to complete the scan.
After registering the first out, Kimbrel was hit head-on in the back by Jake Cronenworth's strike. Despite the pain, Kimbrel stayed in the game and immediately regretted it, allowing a productive double to Luke Voit, then a productive single to Eric Hosmer, before being called out.
"We thought about taking it out," Roberts said of Kimbrel after he got hit. But when a guy like that tells you he's okay and he can throw, [you have no other choice]."
This means that Kimbrel, who has already had four consecutive seasons of at least 40 saves during his career, between 2011 and 2014, with the Atlanta Braves, will undoubtedly have a new opportunity to prove himself to the Dodgers. , who currently has 14 rescues on his record in 2022.