At this point, it’s becoming almost like a copy/paste script. The Dodgers get a lead, head to the 9th inning up a few, and call on Kenley Jansen. The closer then maybe gets an out, maybe allows a walk, or serves up a hit and proceeds to toss 25-35 frustrating pitches while coughing up most or all of the lead.
On Wednesday night, Jansen entered the 9th with a 3 run lead and was set to face the bottom of the order… And he plainly couldn’t get the job done. After allowing a pair of runs on 3 hits and a walk, Dave Roberts made the uncomfortable march out to the mound to pull his closer.
Perhaps former closer…
After the game, Roberts was asked about the future of the 9th inning role for the Dodgers.
I’m going to keep thinking through it. … It was just a lot for him — 30 pitches to get 2 outs… I know that he’s disappointed as well. But I’ll keep thinking through it.
Of course, Dave has had many opportunities to think through it. And I’ll pause here to say that I wish nothing more than an effective Kenley Jansen keeping his job and leading his team to a title. But only if he can get it done. As one frustrated fan said on Twitter, if he can’t be reliable with a 3 run lead, he cannot be our closer anymore. It’s simple.
Jansen is a Dodger legend, no one will take that away from him. But after 32 years of failing to bring home a championship — the last few seasons peppered with Kenley failings in the 9th — it may be time to really put the needs of the team and fanbase in front of the ego of one player.
At some point, you need to accept the results you see with your eyes.