Kenley Jansen close to joining century club

John Grieshop - Getty Images

Los Angeles Dodgers reliever Kenley Jansen needs just 10 strikeouts to reach 100 on the season. There have only been 10 seasons in Dodgers history with 100 strikeouts in relief, including by a pair of Cy Young Award winners in Mike Marshall and Eric Gagne.

Kenley Jansen on Sunday night in Cincinnati pitched his third consecutive scoreless appearance since his return to the Dodgers bullpen after missing over three weeks dealing with an irregular heartbeat. Jansen struck out three batters on Sunday in his scoreless inning, putting him on the precipice of joining some exclusive company.

Jansen now has 90 strikeouts on the season, in 59 innings, just six shy of his career high set last season. With nine games left in the season he has an outside shot to strikeout 100 batters, something done only 10 times in Dodgers history.

Dodgers With 100 Strikeouts In Relief
Pitcher Year Strikeouts Innings Batters Faced
Mike Marshall 1974 143 208.1 857
Eric Gagne 2003 137 82.1 306
Eric Gagne 2002 114 82.1 314
Eric Gagne 2004 114 82.1 326
Jonathan Broxton 2009 114 76.0 300
Pedro Martinez 1993 113 107.0 444
Takashi Saito 2006 107 78.1 303
Ken Howell 1986 104 97.2 437
Tom Niedenfuer 1985 102 106.1 415
Charlie Hough 1977 100 122.1 532

Marshall and Gagne, the top two names on the list, each won Cy Young Awards in their high strikeout seasons. Broxton narrowly missed joining this list two more times, as he struck out 99 in 2007 and 97 in 2006.

Jansen missed by just four strikeouts in 2011, and in doing so set a major league record with 16.10 strikeouts per nine innings. His strikeouts are understandably down this season, but his overall numbers are still very good, and similar in many ways to last season.

2011 53.2 218 30 3 11.9% 44.0% 2.85 1.74 2.09 2.02 1.59
2012 59.0 230 31 6 8.7% 39.1% 2.44 2.55 2.66 2.24 1.82

Jansen needs 10 strikeouts in the Dodgers' final nine games to join the century club. Will he do it?

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