Not only does Dodgers reliever Kenley Jansen model his cut fastball after Mariano Rivera, per Ken Gurnick of MLB.com, but he has also improved his slider. For the slider, the Dodgers can thank Jansen's childhood friend from Curacao:
"Last year my slider was kind of loopy because I started it back here [by his head]," Jansen said. "Now I wait until I release it and put the pressure at the end. It has a sharper break and it's a lot faster. It looks more like a fastball. Jair Jurrjens helped me with it back home. He helped me a lot. I've known him since I was 7 years old."
Jansen was a little shaky in his outing tonight, giving up a walk and a hit in his one inning of work. He was able to get out of the inning without any damage by blocking home plate after his wild pitch, tagging Daniel Dorn, trying to score from third base on the play. The Dodgers lost the game to the Reds 3-1 in Goodyear, dropping their Cactus League record to 2-5.
- The Dodger starters were bound to give up an earned run sooner or later, and the toll finally came due for Hiroki Kuroda tonight in the third inning. In his second outing of the spring, Kuroda allowed two runs on six hits in 2 1/3 innings.
- Kuroda thew 49 pitches in his outing tonight, per Dylan Hernandez of LA Times, including 10 curveballs that, as Josh Suchon mentioned on the KABC broadcast, Kuroda learned how to throw by watching YouTube videos. Kuroda called his curveball "a 10-year work in progress."
Jerry Sands made his second start of the spring, in left field tonight, and collected two hits in two at-bats, the latter knock driving in Tony Gwynn in the fifth inning for the Dodgers' only run of the night
- Aroldis Chapman pitched a perfect seventh inning for the Reds, striking out Jamie Hoffmann and Trent Oeltjen, and inducing a ground ball to first base from Trayvon Robinson.
- Rubby De La Rosa followed Chapman on the mound, in the bottom of the seventh, and did not disappoint. De La Rosa, dubbed "Giggles" by Dee Gordon earlier this winter, struck out three of the six batters he faced in his two scoreless innings of work.
Jon Garland makes his spring training debut tomorrow night at Camelback Ranch against the Giants. Barry Zito will start for the Giants. Scheduled to follow Garland on the mound for the Dodgers tomorrow night are John Ely, Jonathan Broxton, Matt Guerrier, Ron Mahay, and Travis Schlichting.