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The secret behind Kenley Jansen’s confidence? Therapy

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Jansen says mental training has given his pitching a much-needed upgrade this season.

MLB: Pittsburgh Pirates at Los Angeles Dodgers
Kenley Jansen put in some mental work this offseason to turn his game around.
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen was candid about the offseason training that’s helped him the most this year: therapy.

“I’m not shy to say that,” Jansen told the OC Register’s Bill Plunkett. “I think it’s a great thing. I would encourage athletes to do that more often because that was career-changing for me, I feel like. This game is going to be hard. Sometimes you’re going to get beat. But don’t get beat by mental fatigue.”

After the Dodgers’ World Series win last year, Jansen says he realized how mentally exhausted he felt—no surprise for a closer who has frequently been the target of serious criticism.

Jansen feels that his mental training has played a large part in not only improving his health, but also in boosting his overall performance this year. In August he was 8-for-8 on save opportunities with a 1.80 ERA.

“I think he’s finally at peace with, I know it’s trite, but controlling what he can control,” manager Dave Roberts said, per Plunkett. “He can’t control the narrative of 2017 or not pitching well at certain times last year. This is as clear as I’ve seen his mind.”

Dodgers links

  • In case you haven’t heard, the Dodgers and Giants are now tied for first in the NL West. Gabe Laques at USA Today thinks that means the rest of the league should be afraid of L.A.—very afraid.
  • Will he stay, or will he go? Max Scherzer doesn’t seem to answer to that question yet when it comes to next season. Brook Smith at Dodgers Nation talks about the possibility of a contract extension for the starter.
  • Justin Turner is partnering with Golden Road Brewing to rename the brewery’s Dodgers Blonde Ale, with plenty of fan prizes at stake, according to Matthew Moreno at Dodger Blue.