Dodgers Team News

Dodgers: Fans React to Craig Kimbrel’s Latest Poor Showing

Craig Kimbrel allowed two hits and a walk to allow the Brewers to turn a 4-3 deficit into a 5-4 victory in the 11th inning tonight, and Dodger fans are clamoring for change at the closer position in light of Kimbrel’s 4.57 ERA.

Nearly 2,000 votes in, the leader in a landslide is Evan Phillips, which isn’t surprising considering his outstanding 1.34 ERA. In reality, though, all four pitchers on the poll have been outstanding lately. Caleb Ferguson hasn’t allowed a run all season, Yency Almonte has a 1.15 ERA (but is currently on the injured list), and David Price has been almost unhittable the past two months.

Kimbrel, for his part, is pretty realistic in his self-assessment. After the game, he told the media, “I feel like I’m battling, not necessarily the other team, but myself. … If I’m getting beat by soft contact, how do you fix it? Get them to swing and miss. I just gotta do that more.”

Dave Roberts insisted after the game that Kimbrel is still the closer. But if the results don’t start getting better soon, even if Roberts continues to believe in Kimbrel’s stuff, a change might be in order. It seems unlikely the Dodgers will head into the postseason with Kimbrel at closer if he hasn’t turned a corner, because there’s no way you can bet on that corner-turn to come in the bright lights of October.

Have you voted yet? Who do you think should be the next Dodgers closer?

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Jeff Snider

Jeff was born into a Dodgers family in Southern California and is now raising a Dodgers family of his own in Utah. During his previous career as an executive at a technology company, he began writing about baseball in his spare time. After leaving corporate America in 2014, he started doing it professionally. Jeff wrote and edited for Baseball Essential for years before joining Dodgers Nation. He's also the co-host of the Locked On Dodgers podcast, a daily podcast that brings the smart fan's perspective on our Boys in Blue. Jeff has a degree in English from Brigham Young University. Favorite Player: Clayton Kershaw Favorite Moment: Kirk Gibson's homer will always have a place, but Kershaw's homer on Opening Day 2013 might be the winner.


  1. Never have been a fan of Kimbrel and never will be. Team should have resigned Kenly. That BS about telling Kenly they wanted to cut payroll first, cost them a closer. Who here wants to see Kimbrel closing a tight game come October?

    1. I don’t expect Roberts to make a change until the last few weeks, hoping Kinbrel will grt it together. But otherwise will the front office really allow him to be on the postseason roster?

  2. Leader to be next closer: Anybody who even recognizes a baseball whose last name does not start with K-I-M-B.

  3. I feel reasonably safe with Kimbrel as closer-as long as he is sent in to protect a lead of three or more runs. That limit allows a real pitcher the opportunity to still save a game when Kimbrel does his usual “best” at “stealing defeat from the jaws of victory”

  4. One thing is perfectly clear. With Kimbrel as closer, we have no chance to win the WS, or even the division series. You can hide a blown save or two in the regular season, but not in the playoffs. We need a new closer, and Kimbrel ain’t it. I give my vote to David Price, the way he seems to have his stuff back, and with his experience we are not handing the ball to a newbie.

  5. Roberts is once again showing loyalty to one player at the expense of the rest of the team. Don’t the other players deserve to have the best closer on the mound after a close game? Though no other player will say this out loud, but, I suspect they’re fed up with Kimbrel’s ineffectiveness and are tired of Roberts sending him out to the mound to lose a game they’ve battled to win. The solution is easy. Upper management needs to send Kimbrel down to OKC and remove him from the clubhouse entirely. That way Roberts won’t be tempted to continue to show loyalty to one player even though that player hasn’t done anything to deserve it.

  6. Kimbrel will lose the post season for us please put him in as a reliever and get a new closer!!!!!
    We should have gotten Hater instead of letting the padres take him. The Dodgers front office is not stupid but I am now having my doubts. Pull your heads out and get someone we can trust to close our games!!!

  7. Positive comments, though not ignoring reality, go much further than continual negative comments. Think of what negative comments do to you personally. Downers. Kimbrell is facing and admitting his weaknesses. Let’s do unto him what we want others to do to each of us. Build him up with positive encouragement rather than jump on the easy bandwagon of immediate criticism. I find this especially true in working with men who have fathers who only are negative. Look at George Brett’s recorded experience with his father for proof in the puddling. What could George have done if he had had his father’s encouragement rather than trying to always please his dad! Hummm! Ponder that for a moment as we think about Craig Kimbell. Ron

  8. I almost felt guilty being one of the critics after reading this. Then I thought “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome is an indicator of insanity. Kimbrel is having troubles so why not try rebuilding his confidence by putting him in as a setup and in soft spots early in relief? That seemingly has worked well with David Price who has been racking up scoreless after scoreless innings of late

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