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Dodgers notes: Offensive woes, Craig Kimbrel struggling, Mookie Betts out

“Craig is our closer,” manager Dave Roberts says of Kimbrel

MLB: Cleveland Guardians at Los Angeles Dodgers Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

In yet another poor offensive showing on Sunday, the Dodgers scored three or fewer runs for the sixth time in the last eight games, and 11 of the last 20.

The Dodgers also had a late lead, only to see Cleveland tie things in the eighth inning, then score twice off Craig Kimbrel, who has allowed runs in eight of his last 13 games.

From Jeff Miller at the Los Angeles Times:

“I’m not necessarily giving up a lot of hard-hit balls,” Kimbrel said. “But when you’re walking guys and then giving up singles or balls that aren’t hit so hard they’re going to score. Seems like I’ve had quite a few outings where that’s happened.”

Manager Dave Roberts stood by Kimbrel after Sunday’s game. From Juan Toribio at MLB.com:

“I think we’re a ways from that point,” Roberts said. “Obviously, we’ve used [Daniel] Hudson, [Evan] Phillips and [Brusdar] Graterol in different roles. But as far as specifically the closer, Craig is our closer.”

No statue of limitations

A sculpture of Sandy Koufax was unveiled in the centerfield plaza at Dodger Stadium on Saturday, and among the joys of the ceremony was Sandy Koufax telling stories for about 10 minutes. So surprising was the outpouring from Koufax that a pair of longtime baseball writers took note.

“Standing behind his newly unveiled statue in the center-field plaza Saturday morning, Sandy Koufax was winding up to grace Dodger Stadium with one last pitch,” said Bill Plaschke at the Los Angeles Times. “It was, appropriately, a breathtaking curveball.”

“The biggest surprise of the ceremony to unveil the sculpture honoring [Koufax] might have been that the famously private Hall of Famer gave a 10-minute speech,” wrote Jim Alexander at the Orange County Register.

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