The Dodgers need Kenley Jansen to be successful if they want to win a championship. Having just punched their ticket to the World Series to play the Tampa Bay Rays, Los Angeles will need him now more than ever.
Fortunately, we’re coming off of back-to-back appearances by Kenley that appeared to be VERY good. Jansen entered NLCS Game 5 and struck out the side to end the game. He then came in during Game 6 and pitched another perfect inning for the Dodgers. But it hasn’t always been like this during the 2020 playoffs.
Jansen got rocked by the Padres during the Division Series and almost blew a huge lead in the 9th. He followed that up with a perfect outing in a 15-1 ballgame, but also looked shaky in that inning as well. So what has been the secret to his success? Well, there are a few things. Working with Rick Honeycutt and Charlie Hough can get you right, but the motivation from his team might be the biggest factor.
Just days after the Dodgers had taken down the Padres in the Division Series, Mookie Betts took it upon himself to get Kenley’s spirits back up. Instead of breaking down pitchers during a hitters meeting, Mookie had this to say to his offense.
Guys, Kenley is hurting right now. If you have the chance to give him some love, just do it. Just touch him. Because if we are going to get where we want to go, we need him.
The Dodgers knew what they were getting out of Mookie Betts when they gave him a 12-year extension. Not only do they get the pure talent on the field, but they get the unparalleled leadership that rarely comes with the talent. Truly a generational talent.
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