Hiroki Kuroda failed to make it out of the fifth inning yesterday and afterward admitted that the neck problems he’s struggled with in previous seasons are once again an issue.
Kuroda downplayed the severity, telling Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times that “compared to what it’s been in the past it’s very mild.” However, he’s allowed 12 runs in his last 16.2 innings and explained: “My front shoulder has been opening up too quickly and my release point is off.”
Hernandez notes that Kuroda is scheduled to make three more starts this season, and is seven innings away from earning a $175,000 bonus and 17 innings away from getting another $200,000 bonus. That’s plenty of incentive to continue pitching through the pain.
Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen gave up three runs in the top of the ninth inning during Sunday’s game against the Braves, blowing his first save since August 26 last season. He had converted 34 consecutive saves.
Jansen yielded back-to-back singles to lead off the ninth inning, staked to a 4-1 lead. After getting two outs, Matt Adams hit a three-run home run down the right field line to knot the game at four apiece.
After Sunday’s lackluster performance, Jansen is now 24-for-25 in save chances this season with a 1.49 ERA and a 62/2 K/BB ratio in 42 1/3 innings.
Orioles closer Zach Britton finished Sunday’s 9-7 victory over the Astros with a scoreless ninth inning, earning his sixth save of the season. He has now earned the save in 55 consecutive opportunities dating back to September 2015, setting a new American League record. Tom Gordon previously held the record with 54 consecutive saves. Eric Gagne holds the major league record at 84.
Britton’s last blown save came on September 20, 2015, then converted two more saves before the end of the regular season. He went 47-for-47 in save chances last season and is six-for-six so far this year.
Along with his six saves, Britton has a 2.65 ERA and a 13/8 K/BB ratio in 17 innings this season. The lefty came off the disabled list earlier this month after missing two months with a strained left forearm.