Howell threw one inning, during which he gave up one run, in Saturday's victory over the Mets. Saturday's game saw Howell's scoreless streak of 6.1 innings come to an end when he gave up his first home run of the season, bringing his ERA up to 5.51. This is concerning, as Howell is coming off a 2015 campaign that ended with a 1.43 ERA, marking his third straight season below the 2.40 mark. However, having given up three runs across 9.1 innings in the month of May, Howell is showing signs of improvement and could progress to his normal form as the season goes on.
Howell has tossed scoreless innings in back-to-back appearances after allowing six runs in one inning over his first three appearances. Howell has never been a flamethrower, but his 85.4 mph average fastball velocity so far this year would be the lowest mark of his career if it sticks. With zero holds, Howell has a ways to go before regaining a shred of fantasy relevance.
Barack Obama was in his third year as president the last time Dodgers left-hander J.P. Howell recorded a save. Howell now has a save for both of his terms in office. He registered another by striking out Curtis Granderson to nail down a win Saturday night aganst the Mets. His last previous save was in 2011. His usage in that role was necessitated by the unavailability of closer Kenley Jansen, who threw 24 pitches in taking the loss Friday and has allowed a run in each of his last three appearances.
Dodgers pitcher J.P. Howell was charged with the loss in extras Friday night against Arizona. With the game tied 3-3, Howell (0-1) came in for Joel Peralta to start the 10th inning and retired Nick Ahmed for the first out of the frame. He walked Chad Pennington, who advanced to second base on a wild pitch. Howell walked A.J. Pollock and Pennington stole third, leaving runners at the corners. Howell surrendered a walkoff single to Ender Inciarte that skipped past first baseman Adrian Gonzalez to end the game. "For sure I didn't want to walk Pennington," Howell said, per MLB.com. "I was just being too fine. The second walk killed the whole gameplan. I kind of was trying to set up the double play, but bounced that one and it didn't work out that way. I know I did wrong. I tried to make a great pitch, I didn't execute, I fell behind and they took advantage." Howell was charged with one run on one hit and two walks over one-third of an inning in a 4-3 defeat. He owns a 5.40 ERA through 1 1/3 innings of work.
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said that the team's relief situation is still unsettled. J.P. Howell and Joel Peralta are the only locks for the bullpen at this point, Mattingly said per the Los Angeles Times' Bill Shaikin. Mattingly also said that, with Kenley Jansen starting the season on the disabled list after foot surgery, the Dodgers may go with a closer-by-committee approach. Instead of having one pitcher fill the role, the team will mix and match, based on matchups.