June was a good month for Kenley Jansen to remind Dodgers fans just how good of a reliever he is. To be fair, he’s really been doing it all season long. But his month of June was absolutely insane for Los Angeles.
Across 11 appearances in June, Kenley did not get hit with a single run. That’s 10.1 innings of work without opposing teams getting to him. He struck out 10 batters, issued 4 walks, gave up 4 hits, and locked down 8 saves in the month for the Dodgers.
In short, he’s been dominant. Kenley spoke with the media after his save on Tuesday in Los Angeles and talked about a whole lot of stuff. One thing that came up was his slider, which the Dodgers closer has been going to often over the last few weeks.
Jansen also confirmed that he is still using the slider grip that Orel Hershiser taught him during a Spring Training camp. Jansen said that the Dodgers legend had taught him the Sandy Koufax curveball that he transformed into a slider that he shapes differently.
Kenley is throwing that slider just 10 percent of the time when he’s on the mound. But that’s a huge jump up from 2018 when he was throwing it right around 5 percent of the time. Overall, opposing hitters are putting up a .000 batting average on it this year. The Dodgers have to love that.
Playing in the final year of his contract, Kenley is once again proving that he can be among the game’s elite closers. And he’s doing it using the grip of a legend. What a year.