Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

While the Los Angeles Dodgers bullpen has come under fire this season for its inconsistency and trouble to protect leads, closer Kenley Jansen has largely been immune to criticism. After missing the first six weeks, Jansen returned from offseason foot surgery and answered the bell when called upon.

That included getting a four-out save Aug. 16, the same day his second child was born, which threw Jansen’s schedule off course a bit. However, that was the last time the hard-throwing right-hander was seen heading into Sunday’s game.

The reasoning of course is squarely explained by the Dodgers’ current five-game losing streak. They haven’t held many leads and when they did, Jansen’s bullpen mates failed to get the ball to him.

Clayton Kershaw took care of that himself Sunday, striking out 10 over eight innings and handing Jansen a 2-1 lead. He wound up blowing his second save of the season and the Houston Astros won on a walk-off home run in the 10th inning, with Chris Hatcher suffering the loss.

After the Dodgers were swept by the Astros, Jansen had a colorful assessment of the ninth inning that eventually spelled doom and also discussed remaining positive, via Pedro Moura of the OC Register:

“Two bull—- hits,” Jansen said. “What can I do?” … “You can’t beat yourself up about one-run leads,” he said. “You don’t have enough room for error, so you can’t beat yourself up, especially if you didn’t pitch for a week.”

Carlos Correa led off the bottom of the ninth with a bit of a jam shot to right field and later stole second base with one out. Jansen also got a pitch in on Marwin Gonzalez’s hands, but he was able to muscle a game-tying RBI single to right field with two outs.

Jansen has otherwise converted 24 saves this season and moved into sole possession of second place on the Dodgers’ all-time saves leaders list with 130 closeouts when he closed out the Aug. 16 game against the Cincinnati Reds. Of Jansen’s 24 saves this season, nine have come in games the Dodgers won by one run.

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Kenley Jansen Explains Confidence On The Mound

About The Author

Matt is a journalist from Whittier, California. A Cal State Long Beach graduate, Matthew occasionally contributes to Lakers Nation, and previously served as the lead editor and digital strategist at Dodgers Nation, and the co-editor and lead writer at Reign of Troy, where he covered USC Football. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mmoreno1015

5 Responses

  1. jambo

    What is the Cardinals and the Royals record when holding a one or more run lead going into the ninth. I love Kenley but this is a bad response if we are looking to become a special ballclub.

    Reply
    • Blue

      I want to think I am taking his comment the wrong way, but it sure sounds to me like he’s passing off the blame and not wanting to admit that he SHOULD have been able to hold the lead. Sounds like he’s making excuses.

      Reply
  2. Jon Badeaux

    Jansen is officially a Dodger. He takes none — or very little — of the blame. Every DODGER seems to take their cue from Puig. “It’s not my fault.” To prove my point, look how Puig immediately glares at the umpire when there’s a called strike.

    I notice the new thing is to have a called strike the player disagrees with. Then the batter pops out to short or hits a line drive that’s easily caught by the left fielder. The hiter then blames the entire at-bat on the umpire.
    C’mon, guys. All you do is look stupid in front of the crowd and for all those who have MLB.TV. How about you man up and take responsibility for your mistakes.

    Reply
    • Miguel Barreiro

      Puig glares at the umpire sometimes when he doesn’t agree with a strike call – like they all do. More often than not, he takes the calls like a pro – like they all do.

      As for still being unhappy about a strike call even after the at-bat continues, do you realize that at-bats are impacted greatly by favorable or unfavorable counts? An incorrect pitch call either way can unfairly disadvantage a batter or a pitcher. Not that it’s something to throw a tantrum over, but there’s good reason to be upset even after the at-bat.

      Reply
  3. Michael Gorecki

    His job is to protect one run leads ,not blow them.Not a good attitude.

    Reply

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