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Dodgers: Dave Roberts Will Stick With Kenley Jansen After 2 Blown Saves

“That’s still our guy.”



For the second day in a row, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts was asked about his closer situation. And for the second day in a row, he stood by his word that Kenley Jansen was their guy and would continue to be. 

This came on the heels of an incredibly disappointing loss to the Giants on Thursday. That loss immediately followed an almost identical situation in which the Dodgers led after 8 innings and Kenley Jansen gave up the lead. 

Jansen once again could not escape the 9th inning with the lead and the Dodgers fell to the Giants. But despite that, Roberts is sticking with him and not considering a change. He pointed to other factors that led to Kenley shouldering the blame, including a blown call on a checked swing that would have ended the game.

I don’t think all the blame should be on Kenley. The game should have been over a couple of times in that inning. …There’s no doubt in my mind that he went and the game should have been over. In that spot with two contending teams, you just can’t miss that call. We should have won that game, and it’s a game we really wanted, we had, and we didn’t.

And to be fair, there was no way Dave was going to come out and say he’s going to remove Kenley from the closing role. It doesn’t make sense and if he didn’t do it in the past, he certainly won’t do it now. He has been one of the Dodgers’ best relievers all year, but his mistakes are definitely highlighted. 

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On Friday, Roberts doubled down on a statement he had before the season. He still feels that the best version of this team has Kenley Jansen as the closer.

Like it or not, the Dodgers are going to continue to run him out there in the 9th inning in a tight game. He’s the guy that Roberts wants to keep going to, and that does not appear to be changing. 

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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. Ok fine. Let Kenley come in and blow more saves late in August and thru September. But Roberts has to accept there’s already a possibility that his team misses October all together. It’s not just KJ but also a lethargic Bellinger, not enough good pitching, and the rest of this team struggling to score enough run. Oh, and his incompetent style of managing.

    • Well, If Roberts wants to keep playing a loosing hand, all I have to say is “stupid is as stupid does”. It’s amazing to me why he can’t see what everyone else sees and make a different choice. But, Roberts doesn’t seem to be the sort to admit he’s been an idiot and have some else be the closer. I just wish the rest of Dodger Nation didn’t have to suffer because Roberts insisted playing sticking to an obviously failed strategy.

  2. Nothing to be added to what Roberts said. Yeah, the club’s losing games. Yeah, Jansen blew two saves in a row and Bellinger is stinking up the lineup, but Roberts is standing pat. Someone hand that man another shovel.

  3. Kenley is no longer a champion closer period.He messed up last post season and got benched this year dumb Roberts build up some of his confidence by pitching him against weak opposition that’s why he didn’t make the all star mlb noticed Roberts pitching him against weak opposition to build up his numbers.Can’t hide the truth roberts! Kenley is over the hill.

  4. Jansen was given some calls in which the batters should have walked, but instead were called strikes making the batter go after bad choices striking out, Jansen is no way the CLOSER any longer , it always a marathon when he comes into the game ,can never just shut the opponent’s down ,has gone back to his failure past ,taking the heart of the team ,an automatic LOSS when he comes in , The team may not be hitting the way they should, but when ahead the purpose of the CLOSER is to shut the opponent’s down and preserve the WIN not with Jansen the arrogant, self centered, entitled, narcissist ! Take the letter ….C …. out of CLOSER you have the word LOSER …..ROBERTS is in DENIAL along with the COMPLAINER not making the ALL STARS, get a real hold on yourselves and reality and then possibly you could …POSSIBLY…turn things around!!!!

  5. Aside from the Jansen issue, do not understand why Roberts has abandoned what was a successful approach to relief pitching decisions last postseason (in other words if you are ahead and the relief pitcher in 7th or 8th inning is throwing strikes and getting people out, why make a pitching change?

  6. I am a lifetime Dodger fan, love them and appreciate the success they have had under Roberts. But…

    Roberts has to quit babying Jansen, he is not a reliable closer at this time, he can’t spot his pitches and misses up and over the plate way too often! Why doesn’t he see this and make a change in the best interest of the team?

    Quit bringing up the bad “check swing” call, if you recall, the two strikes called on Ruf that at bat were both gifts, they both missed wide. Watch it again, Orel said they were missed calls. Bottom line, he walked on four pitches.

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