The Dodgers played yet another one-run game on Wednesday night, as their 2-1 loss to the Angels was their 28th one-run contest in 64 games this season. They are 16-12 in those games, and 24-12 in all others.
"They did a good job holding us down," said manager Don Mattingly after the game.
Doing most of the holding down was C.J. Wilson, who pitched seven innings and didn't allow a run after the first inning. Also contributing were LaTroy Hawkins, who pitched a scoreless eighth inning for the win, and Ernesto Frieri, who allowed two to reach base but held on for the save.
The Dodgers can take little solace in the fact that they got one of the three hits allowed by Frieri in his 18 appearances since joining the Angels. But perhaps more was expected, as this was the sixth time this season the Dodgers have faced Frieri, who began the year with the San Diego Padres. Two of his three earned runs allowed on the season were scored by the Dodgers.
But back to Wednesday, the Dodgers were able to keep the game close thanks to Nathan Eovaldi, who continued his good run through his first four starts.
"Nate's been great," Mattingly said. "All the things we were able to see last year with the way he worked and competed, and his heat keeps evolving. He has a chance to be really good. He's obviously very good right now, but as he continues to get his secondary pitches over he's going to be something."
Eovaldi has a 1.82 ERA on the season, with eight unintentional walks and 18 strikeouts in 24 2/3 innings. He allowed a solo home run to Alberto Callaspo for his only run allowed in six innings of work.
"I felt like I threw the ball well. I got behind in some counts, and I was able to use my off speed to get me out of them. My curveball tonight, too, I threw it well," Eovaldi said. "That was a huge play in the fourth with (A.J.) Ellis and (James) Loney turning a double play. Getting out of that situation was huge."
But Eovaldi has no wins to show for it, as the Dodgers have lost four one-run games in his four starts. But the 22-year old right-hander didn't seem perplexed by his bad luck.
"You just go out there, and wins will come," he said.
"I just have to keep attacking and keep pitching, be aggressive," Jansen said. "You have to have a short memory in this game."
Mattingly didn't seem worried about his closer.
"I think he's fine," Mattingly said. "Guys are going to give up some hits. They're going to give up some runs now and then. They aren't going to go out there and be perfect every time out. It's the same with Kenley as it is with anybody else. Kenley's human."
It was also the third straight night Jansen pitched. He threw 14 pitches after throwing a combined 34 pitches Monday and Tuesday. He was pulled with two outs in the ninth inning in favor of Todd Coffey because Mattingly didn't want Jansen to throw 18-20 pitches on Wednesday.
"We were asking a lot of Kenley, he was out there for a third straight day," Mattingly said.
Since both losses to the Angels came in non-save situations for Jansen, the question was asked if the closer approached these outings differently than non-save situations.
"It's the same feeling. I just try to help my team win," Jansen said. "That's all I try to do. I don't think about anything else."
Since becoming closer in early May, Jansen has pitched in five non-save situations. In those games, he has allowed two runs on three hits, with three walks and eight strikeouts in 4 1/3 innings.
"I think that situation is basically a closing situation," Mattingly said. "If you give up a run, you're not going to win many games."
The Dodgers found that out tonight, firsthand.
The Dodgers are off on Thursday, their first off day since May 24. Clayton Kershaw is on the mound on Friday night as the Dodgers open a three-game weekend series against the Chicago White Sox, who will start Chris Sale in the series opener.