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Don Mattingly sticks with Brandon League as closer, for now

League has converted eight of nine save opportunities this season but has allowed a pair of game-winning home runs in his last two games.


One night after allowing a game-winning home run for the second time in four days, Brandon League remains the closer for the Dodgers. Though manager Don Mattingly admits he has thought about making a change.

"Obviously I can't say I haven't given thought to it. The games Brandon has give up runs weren't necessarily closing, but obviously Kenley has been throwing the ball good. Yeah, I've given thought to it," Mattingly said before Wednesday night's series finale against the Diamondbacks. "I'm still thinking about it, honestly. We're still talking about it, we go back and forth. It's like anything else, if we flip it then we have a mess. Not that we're not in a mess already."

League is 0-2 with a 5.40 ERA and has allowed at least one run in seven of his last 10 appearances. Opposing batters have hit .255/.321/.471 against him. Kenley Jansen, meanwhile is 1-0 with a 2.12 ERA, with 21 strikeouts and five walks in 17 innings. Opponents have hit just .194/.265/.306 against him.

"Brandon has been throwing the ball okay. It's not like he's watching a bunch of people," Mattingly said. "In save situations he's been really good."

Really good might be a stretch, but League in save situations has a 4.00 ERA (five runs, four earned in nine innings) and has successfully converted eight of his nine save opportunities.

Mattingly said that while League is his closer, there will be plenty of opportunities for Jansen to pitch in important situations, including some save chances.

"A lot of times with Kenley we pick the spot in the order. We always kind of give him the tough assignment, for the most part," Mattingly said. "He's the guy that gets the nasty part of the order.

"Some of it is just rest. Who has been rested the most, who is the strongest. We have had to use our bullpen in ways we really didn't plan on. We don't plan on ever using Kenley for two, or Brandon for two, but we've been in those spots. ... Sometimes, the game dictates how we have to use them."