MLB News: Dodgers' Craig Kimbrel Opens Up On Season-Long Struggles

Craig Kimbrel
Wikimedia | UCinternational

Ernesto Cova

The Los Angeles Dodgers were stung by another Craig Kimbrel meltdown last night. Moreover, it happened against one of the top teams in Major League Baseball, exactly a situation they could find themselves again when the season is on the line.

The Dodgers jumped to a one-run lead in the top of the 11th inning. Then, Kimbrel allowed Victor Caratani to hit a two-run single and give the Milwaukee Brewers a huge win at home.

He's Been Battling

Craig Kimbrel
Giphy | MLB

Needless to say, the former star closer has been far from satisfied with his performances. He claims that it's been an uphill battle all season long and vowed to turn things around:

“It’s tremendously frustrating,” Kimbrel said. “This whole year really, I’ve felt like I’ve been battling. Not necessarily the other team, but myself. I just think in the last 40-something innings, it’s been very frustrating. It’s time for me to turn it around, and I’m going to.”

He Vows To Be Better

Craig Kimbrel
Wikimedia | Delaywaves

Kimbrel's confidence remains intact. He knows he can and should be better than this and still trusts he'll get right on track before it really counts:

“When I got out there on the mound, I feel like I’m going to do my job every time and I have the confidence to throw my pitches. It’s just not working out,” Kimbrel said. “Like I said, it’s going to change. It has to.”

Roberts Has His Back

Craig Kimbrel
Wikimedia | Beisbol

Dodgers skipper Dave Roberts is also fully confident in his closer's skills and claimed that his command was way better despite the loss. Clearly, he has no intention of taking the ball away from him when the game is on the line:

“I think that’s some of the noise that I have to drown out and just see how the ball is coming out, see the execution,” Roberts said. “The command is considerably better tonight. He was striking the breaking ball. The result is not what any of us wanted, but I’m not going to just go by results alone if I believe that the stuff is good, the process is good.”

Will He Turn Things Around?

Craig Kimbrel
Wikimedia | Artix Kreiger 2

But as much as having Roberts' support should matter, it's also time the Dodgers start considering other options.

Kimbrel has failed to record a save in four attempts holding a one-run lead, and that's the kind of thing that could go back to haunt them in the postseason. They've been near-perfect all season long, and they need a closer that's up to those standards.