Friday was not Dodgers’ closer Kenley Jansen’s night, once again.
With a three-run lead in the bottom of the ninth, Jansen flirted with another blown save as he loaded the bases with only one out. Stop me if you’ve heard this story before.
Ultimately, he would get out of the inning but not before nearly giving the entire Dodgers’ fanbase a collective heart attack.
Fear leads to anxiety
Anxiety leads to focus
Focus leads to execution
Execution leads to dominance
Dominance leads to arrogance
Arrogance leads to carelessness
Carelessness leads to fear.
Is there time left in 2019 for Kenley to get back to at least the Execution part? pic.twitter.com/bmKYI1SWzE
— Dodgers Nation (@DodgersNation) July 27, 2019
Jansen Still Confident Despite “Turbulence”
Yet, despite what has become such a long list of documented struggles in the 2019 season, Jansen remains confident in himself.
When asked his thoughts on his role possibly changing if the Dodgers deal for for a top reliever before the trade deadline — say a Felipe Vazquez or Will Smith type guy — Jansen told Bill Plunkett of the OC Register this:
How can I worry about that? I know I’m the guy who’s done the job. Listen, don’t forget who I am. I’ll be that. I am that. … Listen, man, I can’t worry about what you guys think about me or what fans think about me. I can’t put negative stuff on my plate. That just takes you away from trying to get better.
Dodgers’ fans would be more than delighted if Jansen returned to his pre-2018 form, but at this point that, that seems like such an unrealistic thing to put their hope in. And that’s the most frustrating part of his comments.
The closer is well accustomed to talking the talk but has rarely ever walked the walk with his play on the field this year. It’s become fairly easy to view his postgame comments as careless cockiness rather than healthy confidence.