Of course, Kenley Jansen‘s first night on the active roster in 2015 called for him to save the game — but he didn’t. Instead, he appeared in the eighth inning, which, OK. Adam Liberatore and Juan Nicasio locked down the ninth inning (but not without some stress) in the Dodgers’ 6-4 on Friday night over the Rockies.
Jansen looked like his normal self, pumping low-90s cutters like it’s his job. And he struck out four batters in his inning of work, thanks to a Yasmani Grandal passed ball. It’s safe to say, the Dodgers’ “struggling” bullpen is gonna be just fine.
Much like his last outing against the Rockies, Clayton Kershaw was cruising — this time until the seventh inning. Carlos Gonzalez led off with a single followed by a Nick Hundley ground out. Drew Stubbs struck out looking, bringing up D.J. LaMahieu. He singled to pull the Rockies to within four at 6-2. Kershaw issued his third walk of the evening and was done.
Paco Rodriguez came in and, inexplicably, gave up a hit to Charlie Blackmon, who is Andre Ethier-esque when it comes to hitting against left-handed pitching. The damage was limited to four runs, but a once-comfortable game became really uncomfortable really quickly.
Kershaw was still solid, but not Kershawian: 6 2/3 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 10 K, 110 pitches, 69 (nice) strikes, 6/2 GO/AO. The peripherals are there (save the three walks), but he’s just giving up runs — sometimes after he has been removed from the game. But, that’s baseball.
The offense got back on track a bit, as Jimmy Rollins (why is he still hitting second?) homered in the first inning. He went 4-for-5 on the evening to bring his batting average (I know) closer to the Mendoza line (.198). His double play partner Howie Kendrick went 3-for-5, and he seems to be busting out of his mini-slump. Ginger Jesus — Justin Turner — went 2-for-3 with a double. He’s good.