Jansen, Mattingly quiet on closer's absence
Dodgers lose in 9th as Rockies rally with three runs
DENVER -- If you were confused with Kenley Jansen's bizarre absence in crunch time Wednesday night before the Dodgers' 7-6 loss in the ninth, wait until you hear the explanation.
There really wasn't any.
Jansen, present but subdued, said through a club official he wasn't talking. Don Mattingly, clearly annoyed, wasn't talking either, except to say that Jansen "wasn't available."
A club official later was hard-pressed to come up with this official, uh, statement:
"Kenley wasn't feeling well and was unavailable."
Let the speculation begin. One believable scenario is that Jansen -- who prior to 2013 heart surgery had an episode of irregular heartbeat in the Mile High City and has complained of feeling lethargic here -- wasn't up to taking the ball.
And Mattingly -- his bullpen feeling the effects of four games in three days -- was probably not pleased that Jansen didn't pitch after a 16-pitch outing Tuesday night on a week's rest.
"I'm not the one to talk about it," Mattingly said when asked to provide details. "I don't know who will talk about it, but I'm not talking about it."
Mattingly is the official team spokesman regarding injuries and ailments, but he didn't mention that Jansen wasn't feeling well. Mattingly did say that whatever the situation was with Jansen, it changed during the game.
And it was a wild game that started more than two hours late because of rain, was interrupted for another 16 minutes in the second inning by rain, and ended screaming for a closer. The Rockies scored three runs in the bottom of the ninth inning for a puzzling loss and a split of a draining four-game series.
So, the Dodgers were a first-place team without Jansen for six weeks as he healed from foot surgery, but without him on this night they couldn't beat the last-place Rockies while taking a two-run lead into the ninth.
The Dodgers got to the ninth on the strength of a three-run seventh inning. Andre Ethier singled in a pair of runs in a comeback necessitated when starting pitcher Mike Bolsinger allowed a three-run shot by Troy Tulowitzki for a 4-2 Rockies lead.
And, of course, Joc Pederson homered again, for the fifth consecutive game, his fourth time on base.
Josh Ravin followed Bolsinger's five innings with two scoreless frames and was in position for his second win in his second day in the Major Leagues. Adam Liberatore pitched a perfect eighth inning, but was sent out again for the ninth and allowed a single to pinch-hitter Michael McKenry and a ground-rule double to Charlie Blackmon.
The struggling Yimi Garcia walked DJ LeMahieu to load the bases and walked Tulowitzki to cut the lead to 5-4. J.P. Howell relieved and his first pitch to Carlos Gonzalez was wild (although it was ruled a passed ball on Yasmani Grandal), scoring the tying run. Gonzalez was walked intentionally, Chris Hatcher relieved, Mattingly brought in right fielder Ethier to be a left-handed second baseman in a five-man infield and Nolan Arenado won the game with a sacrifice fly to Chris Heisey.
"We ran out of steam with those guys," Mattingly said of his bullpen, which consisted of 10 pitchers, although five of them were used to pitch all nine innings of Tuesday's double-header opener.
"We asked a lot of Lib, same with Yimi, really, all of those guys and finally taxed them. We just ran out of steam."