10/02/12 9:24 PM ET
Reliever Jansen finds answer to dip in velocity
By Ken Gurnick and Alex Angert / MLB.com
"Somehow, I just figured it out," Jansen said. "I've been telling everybody I'm not hurt. It turned out I wasn't staying through the ball. It came back to me when I threw a two-seamer."
From pitch one to pitch two to Herrera, Jansen's velocity jumped five miles an hour, from 90 to 95. It stayed in the mid-90s for the rest of an 11-pitch inning Saturday and touched 97 Tuesday night, when Jansen struck out a pair but also allowed the tying run.
"Now I'm throwing the two-seamer and cutter, so I have two pitches," said Jansen.
Bullpen coach Ken Howell explained that when pitchers rely on a cutter, as Jansen does, they tend to release on the side of the ball instead of keeping their fingers behind the ball and velocity suffers.
The 25-year-old Jansen, who missed three weeks with an irregular heartbeat, expects to undergo an offseason catheter ablation, in which doctors will make an incision in his groin and, with a flexible tube, seek out and cauterize abnormal tissue that triggers his atrial fibrillation. He's said he's looking at a three-month rehab.
Mattingly confirms Kershaw will start last game
LOS ANGELES -- After a couple of days of speculation, manager Don Mattingly said Clayton Kershaw will definitely pitch Wednesday's regular-season finale and Joe Blanton will pitch Thursday if a National League Wild Card tiebreaker is needed.
Although Kershaw was listed as Wednesday's starter, Mattingly waited until Tuesday to commit to the lefty even if the Dodgers are eliminated from the playoff race.
There was consideration of shutting Kershaw down with the ace dealing with right hip pain throughout the month, but Mattingly said nothing since his start on Sept. 23 has shown any reason why he can't go one more time.
"He wouldn't be able to do the things he's doing," Mattingly said, on whether Kershaw has been playing with pain. "He couldn't throw. He couldn't actually go out there and play catch."
Kershaw threw eight shutout innings with 10 strikeouts in his most recent outing and he'll get one last chance to pitch Wednesday unless the Dodgers higher-ups decide they don't want to risk anything happening in a potentially meaningless game.
As for the possible tiebreaker game against the Cardinals if all goes the Dodgers' way, Blanton gets the nod instead of Josh Beckett on short rest.
Beckett, who made a name for himself pitching in big games, has given up just one earned run in four of his seven Dodgers starts, including a game on Sept. 13 against the Cardinals as well as his last start Sunday.
Although Mattingly considered it, he decided using Beckett was asking a lot of the veteran and he felt more than comfortable with Blanton, who threw six shutout innings his last time out.
"Joe has pitched in a World Series," Mattingly said. "It's not like he's never been anywhere and pitched in big games.
"Joe can throw the ball where he wants. He can really get the ball to both sides of the plate with some different angles and some different breaking balls."
Capuano starts for LA despite bruising shoulder
LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers lefty Chris Capuano started Tuesday's game despite bruising his left shoulder the other day when he hit himself with a weighted doughnut off the bat while loosening up.
Manager Don Mattingly said Capuano was "a little sore," but there was nobody else that was lined up to take his place.
He added he was confident the veteran will keep the Dodgers in the must-win game and be fine.
The start will cap off an odd season for Capuano, who opened the year 7-1 with a 2.14 ERA. Since then, things soured for Capuano, and he entered his final start 12-11 with a 3.69 ERA.
Treanor injures side in pregame batting practice
LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers backup catcher Matt Treanor apparently suffered a strained left side muscle while taking batting practice before Tuesday night's game with the Giants and left the field in pain.
The 36-year-old Treanor, who has played only 36 games while backing up A.J. Ellis, was attended to by manager Don Mattingly and left the field with assistant trainer Greg Harrel.
Because rosters have expanded, the Dodgers have rookie Tim Federowicz on the active roster to back up Ellis.
Among the ceremonial first pitches before Monday night's Dodgers-Giants game was one by jockey Chantal Sutherland, who will be riding in the Breeders' Cup World Championships Nov. 2 and 3 at Santa Anita Park.