Dodgers fans know that the last few years for former All-Star Kenley Jansen haven’t been smoothest. After a long run of dominance through the middle of the 2010s, the embattled closer has struggled with consistency since the 2018 season. Consistency and command with his cutter.
With that, fans are quick to jump on Kenley when he’s on the bump. Each 9th inning becoming an unwelcome rollercoaster ride. However, over his last two outings, the big man has looked markedly better.
Kenley Jansen Side pic.twitter.com/Ugrc83P8ts
— Mad Choriyama (@MadChoriyama) April 15, 2021
“Enough is enough,” Jansen said after striking out the side on Wednesday night. He opened his outing with a leadoff walk and then a switch flipped. You saw, what OC Register beat writer Bill Plunkett called, “angry Kenley.”
After the game, Dave Roberts shared his thoughts on angry Kenley.
I like it! He should pitch angry! … it’s kind of an inner fire. And a guy that’s an elite closer, that’s meant so much to me personally, to the organization… I’m just happy that he’s throwing the baseball well and he’s having success because this guy works so hard — he cares so much — just to see him get big outs for us, I’m really proud of him.
After his second strikeout in the 9th inning, we saw Jansen letting out some raw emotion, what he called “frustration, honestly.” Dodger third baseman Justin Turner was asked about the fire shown by Kenley on Wednesday night. Understandably, he liked what he saw.
I think he’s pitching with a chip on his shoulder… he’s pitching like he’s got something to prove. And it’s good for him.
Angry Kenley picked up his 3rd save on the season while again touching the mid-90s on the radar gun. With free agency coming up after the season, the 33-year-old isn’t only pitching for another championship in 2021, he’s pitching for his next contract. But perhaps most importantly, he’s pitching for himself.
I’ve been searching for it… this game can be hard. I’ll keep working hard … it’s Kenley vs Kenley.