Dodgers' Roberts: Kimbrel's 'stuff is starting to slide'
"You can't hit the leadoff hitter with a breaking ball," Roberts said postgame, according to Juan Toribio of MLB.com. "I think the stuff is starting to slide a little bit, fastball velocity. I've just got to continue to look at this. We've got to have our best guys at the back end."
Kimbrel hit a batter and allowed a go-ahead home run in the ninth inning before the Dodgers won the game in dramatic fashion. He owns a 4.14 ERA with 1.34 WHIP and is 22-for-27 in save opportunities over 57 appearances (54 1/3 innings) in his first campaign with Los Angeles. The eight-time All-Star's 10.8 K/9 is the worst mark of his 13-year run in the majors.
Roberts acknowledged there's a very small margin for error with the playoffs starting in October.
"This is a point in time where performance matters," Roberts said. "We need our best."
Kimbrel, who's widely considered one of the best closers in MLB history, owns a career 2.33 ERA with 394 saves.
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