After going 1-3 in a four-game series against the San Francisco Giants, much of the blame has fallen on the Los Angeles Dodgers’ frustrating bullpen. Dodger relievers have accumulated more losses than any other bullpen in the league thus far, and the statistic is telling of the team’s underwhelming record.
The Dodgers endured their sixth and seventh extra-inning losses of the season against the Giants this weekend, and ineffective relief pitching has proven detrimental to the team’s record as well as fans’ morale.
A combination of J.P. Howell and Jamey Wright loaded the bases in a disastrous 10th inning on Friday, but Kenley Jansen took the cake for his dreadful, extra-inning outing on Sunday. Charged with three runs at the end of the day, the Dodgers closer recorded just one out amidst the six batters he faced.
Although disappointed with his last outing, the 26-year-old right-hander is focusing on the future and will not let Sunday’s performance interfere with his confidence on the mound via Steve Dilbeck of the Los Angeles Times:
“You can’t get messed up, you can’t think too much,” he said. “This is not my first time going through this. I’m going to get myself out of it. I’m not going to panic, I’m just going to go out there and just keep competing. I know who I am and what kind of stuff I have.”
Don Mattingly still has full-fledged faith in his closer, who had a 1.08 ERA and six saves in nine games prior to Sunday’s loss. The Dodgers manager also dispelled any speculation that Jansen’s decreased velocity was a product of injury. Although Mattingly may have overworked Jansen in the beginning of the season, he is trying to compensate for the heavy workload as he’s gone to Jansen just four times in the month of May.
After Sunday’s game against the Giants, Jansen is now 0-2 with a 4.58 ERA and a 1.70 WHIP. With an already struggling bullpen, the Dodgers need Jansen to turn his play around moving forward in hopes that the rest of the relievers will then follow suit.
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