Kenley Jansen is still the Dodgers’ closer.
The million dollar question: Would you trust him to get the biggest out of the Dodgers’ season? A lot of fans don’t, as many seem to have lost hope in the greatest closer in the history of the franchise.
The funny thing is, Jansen has been great in the playoffs for the Dodgers over his lengthy career. If you were to guess his career postseason ERA, what would your guess be? Go ahead, I’ll give you a few seconds to think.
1.97. Yup. That’s his postseason ERA in 42 games. A lot better than you thought, right? Since Game 5 of the 2017 World Series, Jansen has appeared in 19 games for LA while owning an ERA of 1.10. So, why is everyone scared out of their mind for when he enters the game?
He finished the season with a 3.33 ERA and 1.15 WHIP. By no means is that awful. He averaged 12.2 strikeouts per nine innings, his best since 2017. Jansen was the National League Reliever of the Month in August. Through his first 19 games, Jansen had a 1.06 ERA with 24 strikeouts in 17 innings. Opponents were hitting .123 off him. Everyone seems to forget about that Jansen.
He then had a brutal two game stretch where he allowed eight runs to score in 1 1⁄3 of an inning. After those two outings? Six outings of scoreless ball while allowing only three hits and striking out eight.
So, why is everyone so worried?
Yes, his velocity is down, we get that. That’s something that happens with age. No, it’s not ideal and we’d like it to be higher. But, Jansen has adapted his game well around his decreased velocity.
Our friends over at Dodgers Digest went a little in-depth on whether or not something is wrong with Jansen, and they provided some pretty good stuff to back it up. Take a look for yourselves.
Jansen got the save in Game 1 and didn’t allow a run, just like majority of his outings from the season. However, manager Dave Roberts noticed something was a little off.
“It just didn’t seem like the stuff had the teeth that I’ve seen in recent outings,” Roberts said. “I’m going to go back and look at the video.”
Well, he went and looked at the video. Here’s what he had to say yesterday when asked about it.
“I can make assessments from the side but I can’t appreciate what the baseball was doing,” he said. “It was much better than I thought. Every one was right where it needed to be. It’s better than I thought, that’s a good thing for the Dodgers.”
Jansen didn’t pitch in the second game, as Brusdar Graterol got the save instead. No, it doesn’t mean Graterol is LA’s new closer, Roberts just wanted to use a different arm.
“He pitched last night,” Roberts said. “He was available. Just the same run of hitters as last night. He’s our closer. Kenley’s gonna close out many games for us moving forward. Kenley’s all in on whatever it takes to win baseball games.”
Roberts said he talked with Jansen prior to the game and said to be ready for anything. He said Jansen told him all he cares about is winning.
Dave Roberts isn’t worried about Kenley Jansen pitching the ninth, and you shouldn’t be either.
Are you confident with Kenley Jansen pitching the ninth inning?
This poll is closed
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