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Dodgers: Kenley Jansen Did Something on Monday That Dave Roberts Hasn’t Ever Seen

Buster Posey wasn’t the only one shocked by this.



The Dodgers were able to do something on Monday night that they’ve struggled with all year: win a 1-run game. Los Angeles defeated the Giants and moved up to within 2.5 games of San Francisco in the West. 

Kenley Jansen can be thanked for part of that win. After giving up a leadoff hit to Mike Tauchman(thrown out trying to take second), Jansen struck out Buster Posey and induced a groundout to end the game. The Dodgers closer locked down his 19th save of the season. 

But it was the Buster Posey at-bat that caught everyone’s attention. Kenley Jansen threw 3-consecutive sliders to punch out the Giants catcher, which was a surprise to many. But not to Kenley. 

I’ve faced Buster so many times. He’s such a great hitter. It’s a tough out to get. I feel like he didn’t expect three sliders in a row there. I like to challenge him all the time but today was a day I wanted to change it up on him so that’s what I did on him.

Posey has tallied 8 singles and 3 walks in his lifetime against Jansen. Not many hitters in the game have that sort of success against the Dodgers closer. But even Dave Roberts said that he doesn’t think he’s ever seen Kenley do that before. 

I don’t think I’ve seen that. I know that it’s been a work in progress. He’s continuing to gain confidence in it. I think when you’re talking about the history you’ve got to find out different ways to get out great hitters and Buster is a great hitter.

Kenley throws his slider less than 10 percent of the time. So mixing in 3 sliders to Posey must have really messed with his approach. The Dodgers closer had him off balance and got the strikeout in a huge spot. 

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Monday was just the latest dominance from Kenley Jansen that Dodgers fans have gotten to see. If he can confidently mix in the slider whenever he wants to, hitters are going to have an impossible time getting on. 

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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. Good! I know he was sprinkling in the slider now & then, but to use it as an out pitch is great instead of depending only on the cutter. Hitters were sitting on those cutters and tagging them. I also noticed he’s throwing a 2 seamer occasionally, which would greatly help his cutter, w/ each pitch going in opposite breaks. If he gets those 3 pitches perfected, the batters will be keep guessing and totally unsure on what he’s going to throw. Kenley is now something exciting to watch instead of cringing when he used to come in from the pen.

    • I was at the game last night. Sure was exciting from start to finish. Kenley was exceptional – again. Hoping Buehler throws a great game like Bauer did last night as well.

  2. Dodger fans! Vote for our guys in All Star balloting, and also vote for Semien, Dever and Buxton in the AL – they have slim leads over Astros today.

      • Speaking of the All Star game, again Manfred has his hands in screwing up baseball tradition, the uniforms that he is introducing to this game are just atrocious and a joke. I would like to see all players selected to play pack their respective uniforms and leave those Manfred pieces of crap hanging in their lockers and represent their ball clubs by wearing their actual home white or road gray uniforms.

  3. It was a real sigh of relief to close out a big game against the Giants. With just a one run lead, and then three straight balls to start off the first batter, it was tense. Jansen came through though. I really want this turnaround from more than a few years of subpar performance to continue. Jansen’s not dominant like he was 5:years ago. But he’s doing pretty good. Better assortment of pitches and increased velocity certainly help.

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