What a day in Los Angeles. With the Dodgers and Tigers squaring off in the rubber match, the offense finally came to life. That came after the bats completely went quiet on Saturday night in their loss. But Will Smith got things going with a base hit in the first inning after Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman got on.
But Sunday was also the first chance that Dodgers fans got to see Tommy Kahnle. The reliever was added to the roster right before the game after spending nearly two years on the injured list. Kahnle had to undergo Tommy John surgery during the 2020 season with the Yankees after an inning of work.
Kahnle came on in the 6th inning for the Dodgers and carved up the Tigers’ bats. He struck out Harold Castro and Jonathan Schoop very quickly before getting Jeimer Candelario to line out to Cody Bellinger in center. He did it with excellent command of his fastball and some devastating off-speed stuff.
All told, Kahnle needed just 9 pitches to get out of the inning. It was a great reminder for Dodgers fans of what’s to come for their bullpen, especially when Blake Treinen makes his return. The trio of Kahnle, Treinen, and Craig Kimbrel could be the best in baseball if they’re all healthy.
At his best, Kahnle is striking out over 35 percent of the batters that he faces. Getting that in the later innings of a ballgame could be lethal as the season carries on.
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