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.
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.