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Dodgers: Dave Roberts Expresses Lack of Confidence Talking About Kenley Jansen’s Outing

Doc clearly didn’t love what he saw out of his closer on Wednesday night.



The Dodgers were able to hold onto a lead throughout the game against the Brewers despite a lack of offense late in the game. After scoring 2 runs in the first 2 innings, Los Angeles managed to tack on just 1 more before heading into the 9th. 

Kenley Jansen came on to close it for the Dodgers in the final inning, and his stuff looked…questionable. Jansen’s hardest thrown pitch of the outing was a 91 mph cutter to Christian Yelich, but even the placement was bad. The low velocity and missed location were fairly consistent throughout his outing. When asked about how Kenley threw, Doc was unusually straightforward in how he felt. 

It was good to see him get the job done, but it just didn’t seem like the stuff had the teeth that I’ve sen in recent outings. So I’m going to go back and look at the video…I just didn’t think that the cutter there were a couple of throws that had some life but it just didn’t have the life in the zone. And the breaking ball was cast more than I’ve seen it. We’ll see, again I don’t really know as much until I look at it. 

Not exactly a vote of confidence from a manager. But this might show that the Dodgers are indeed willing to move on from Kenley Jansen if he cannot get the job done. Maybe. And to be quite honest, it’s that sort of open-minded thinking that the team needs to get back to the World Series. 

The Dodgers cannot blindly commit to Jansen for the entire postseason and just hope that he finds it at the right time. The team will no doubt continue to give him the 9th inning but don’t be surprised to see a change if Jansen slips up. 

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Dodgers Win Game 1 of the Wild Card Series Behind a Solid Bullpen Effort

Written by Brook Smith

Brook is the Senior Editor of Dodgers Nation, with several years of experience in sports journalism. He is an avid Dodgers and Lakers fan, and can be spotted fairly often at Dodger Stadium and Staples Center.

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  1. Anyone with sense could see it was the Bad Jansen that pitched last night. Jansen was fortunate to get Yelich on a 90 mph high fastball.
    Jansen was not close to hitting the catcher’s target last night. As soon as he walked the man in front of Yelich he should have been pulled as he pitched to 3 batters and was terrible.
    Roberts is not willing to make the hard decision. If Jansen is not throwing well in the bullpen they should use someone else. They have a bunch of pitchers that frankly have better quality pitches than Jansen. The only reason Jansen is still the “CLOSER” is that Roberts is not willing to make the smart but uncomfortable decision to use a closer by committee that he should use, This bullpen has a variety of talented arms to limit themselves to Jansen is insane and will lead to the Dodgers not winning the WS AGAIN!!

    • Tmaxster, it’s one of those reasons you correctly said Dodgers will never win a WS with Roberts as manager. Robert’s reluctance to actually make a change from Jansen is insane and I might add that Dodgers may not even get close to even the NLCS because of this. Also the offense had plenty of chances to put the game away early but as per usual. It disappears at this time of year. IMHO Dodgers were lucky the don’t enter tonight’s game down 0 – 1

    • The only potential problem I see is them not having the right guy available besides Jansen because of how many relievers they use before the 9th

  2. Maybe Roberts is starting to see what most everyone else has seen for past couple of years? Besides his location being atrocious last nite I think he topped out at 90 mph? You can get away with missing locations if you have velocity, but Jansen had neither last nite.

  3. Yes! Finally, if DR means what he said, then there may be a glimmer of management from the manager. Why is there always drama in a Kenney Jansen inning. A walk is inexcusable in a closer. And to be fair to our closer down the path this postseason, he should not be asked to clean up another pitchers mess by asking him to get the final four outs with runners on. Give him a clean inning and expect him to do his job, in other words, a short leash for now.

  4. Is Rip Van Winkle AKA Dave Roberts finally waking up? Is it possible? Could we can finally win a world series?

  5. It’s the same reason year after year. It’s Dave Roberts that wants to be the players friends instead of doing his Job and giving the Dodgers the best chance to win a game. Last year he stuck Clayton in relief in hopes of letting Clayton exercise his Post Season demons and we all saw how it turned out. Clearly Kenley hasn’t been the Shut down closer of years passed but he continues to throw him out there.

    • What was so stupid about that Roberts choice was Kershaw already succeeded in relief in 2016 nlds clincher and 2018 pennant clincher. The only demons he needs to excersise now is having a good postseason from start to finish as a starter

  6. This dance with disaster routine is getting rather old. Watching Jansen walk Peterson on 5 pitches to bring Yelich to plate as the tying run was really bad.

    I thought Gonzalez should have faced Yelich after the walk but then I thought Urias should have pitched the 8th. Outside of Yelich, Julio was mowing them down and was at 52 pitches. It’s not like he’ll be used again in this series. Why keep changing pitchers until you find one that doesn’t have it.

  7. Let’s hope that we don’t have to see Kenley with the game on the line. I could tell from the first batters that he didn’t have his good stuff. The game where he blew the 4 run lead to the Astros was coming into my mind. Thankfully the Brew Crew is horrible but if that was Houston, Yankees, Padres he would have been shelled

  8. Let me suggest that even if the Dodgers are leading in the 9th inning by 2. 3 or even 4 runs, no way should Kenley be used to “close”. Dodgers honestly cannot afford to chance it with a game 3 tomorrow.

  9. Oh what Dodger loyal’s and willful. It’s pick on Jansen month. I had my say about Jansen also but I also believe in fairness. Just about every pitcher in the bullpen has struggled at one time or another. There are ways to get Jansen back on track and it’s not bringing him when they only have a run or two lead. Get him pitching when there is a 4 or 5 run lead, I know he’s blown big leads before but so have other pitchers. Jansen can get it back, just give him a chance. Oh and remember, upper management stick their hands where their not suppose to be (telling Roberts what to do).

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