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Craig Kimbrel’s struggles as Dodgers closer

Dave Roberts on Kimbrel: “The stuff is starting to slide a little bit.”

Arizona Diamondbacks v Los Angeles Dodgers Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

We end the week with a Leading Off with True Blue LA podcast that looks at Craig Kimbrel, whose hold on the Dodgers closer role is as tenuous as it’s been all year.

The Dodgers rallied to win in the bottom of the ninth on Thursday, but had to do so after Kimbrel allowed a go-ahead home run, his second final-inning homer allowed to Arizona in his last five appearances. Kimbrel’s ERA is 4.14.

Most notable after this latest effort was manager Dave Roberts sounding exasperated during his postgame interview, as shown on SportsNet LA, about as publicly critical of a player as Roberts gets.

“The stuff is starting to slide a little bit,” Roberts said of Kimbrel. “We’ve got to have our best guys at the back end, so we’ll continue to think through it.”

Also on this podcast, I discuss Clayton Kershaw telling Dylan Hernández of the Los Angeles Times he plans to play next year, and the choices involved therein. Plus talk of the relative paucity of starts on four days rest for the Dodgers, except for this weekend, and that Albert Pujols comes to Los Angeles just two home runs shy of 700.

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