“That’s not how we scripted it,” manager Dave Roberts said.
Panik is the only player in major league history to hit a solo home run in back-to-back 1-0 wins at any point in the season, per STATS LLC. On Friday his home run came on an 89.6 mph cutter from Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen, on the inner third of the plate.
“It was kind of a cement mixer there,” Roberts said. “It was in his nitro zone, and uncharacteristic for Kenley.”
What was also out of the norm for Jansen was the velocity of his cutter, which averaged 88.96 mph per Gameday and the fastest of his nine cutters was 89.8 mph.
In 2017 Jansen averaged 93.65 mph on his cutter per Brooks Baseball, and in April averaged 93.35 mph. Roberts said Jansen touched 94 mph in one of his first two spring outings and he noticed the decline in velocity on Friday.
“With Kenley as I’ve learned over the years when the velocity is down there is kind of a mechanical thing that’s not right, he’s not synced up. He’s a big-bodied guy,” Roberts said. “When your talking four miles, three miles per hour below, it’s not a health thing — he feels strong — it’s not a usage thing. I think it’s a mechanics thing.”
Jansen, who allowed five home runs in the regular season and has never given up more than six home runs in a season, disagreed.
“It’s no mechanics, he just got me,” Jansen said.
When reminded that he was throwing 89 mph on Friday Jansen remained defiant, repeatedly saying “Who cares?”
It was the first loss for Jansen at Dodger Stadium since July 3, 2015.
“It don’t matter. It’s a long season, Jansen said. “You just have to come back tomorrow face them again and try to get them out.”
The Dodgers try to avoid their first 0-3 start since 2002 on Saturday night, this time a 6:10 p.m. PT start on SportsNet LA. Kenta Maeda starts for the Dodgers, with left-hander Derek Holland on the mound for San Francisco.