The Los Angeles Dodgers had plenty of reason to celebrate on Friday, beginning with the Fernando Valenzuela jersey retirement ceremony and including the team extending their winning streak to a season-high-tying six games by defeating the Colorado Rockies 6-1.
However, the night also saw Yency Almonte come out of his relief appearance due to a right knee injury. Almonte entered in the eighth inning and was one out away from sealing the Dodgers’ win when trouble arose.
“My cleat got caught in the hole and I tried to push off it. I guess it didn’t release, if that makes any sense, so it hyperextended,” Almonte explained after the game.
He was checked on by Dodgers manager Dave Roberts and Nate Lucero after grimacing and hunching over following a pitch. Almonte initially remained in the game but Roberts quickly came out of the dugout two pitches later.
“He shook to changeup and just kind of moved it forward. So I didn’t want to take any more risk,” Roberts said.
That Almonte remained in the game was somewhat of a surprise, but he felt a personal responsibility to preserve the Dodgers bullpen by retiring the final batter.
“I thought I could get through it, but obviously I couldn’t. I was just trying to finish the inning,” Almonte said. “I don’t want to have someone else have to get up and get going, especially quick.
“I’d rather just fight through it and get out of the inning, but that obviously didn’t happen.”
Roberts said he wouldn’t be surprised if Almonte needs to be placed on the 15-day injured list Saturday, but the right-hander for the time being was trying to remain optimistic.
“I think we’ll wait to see tomorrow what the issue is, if there really is one,” he said. “I don’t think there’s anything major. Maybe just a sprain.”
Yency Almonte found positives despite injury
Injury concern aside, Almonte was pleased with his three strikeouts over 1.2 scoreless innings. It marked a second consecutive appearance he didn’t allow a run since imploding against the San Diego Padres on August 5.
“I finally threw some sliders that I felt like I was throwing last year,” Almonte said. “I was confident in it, I was attacking hitters and it was going in the right direction until my knee caught. I’ll take my positives.”
Have you subscribed to the Dodger Blue YouTube channel? Be sure to ring the notification bell to watch player interviews, participate in shows and giveaways, and stay up to date on all Dodgers news and rumors!