Kenley Jansen had another sub-par performance on Wednesday night to add to what has been a very lackluster season for the Dodgers’ closer.
Jansen entered the game against the San Diego Padres in the bottom of the ninth looking to preserve a one-run lead, however, as has happened a number of times this season, the game headed for extras after he failed to get the job done.
The first batter reached second on a dropped ball in the outfield, then advanced to third on a pop-up to right field, and finally reached home thanks to a wild pitch from Jansen. To make matters worse, he walked the next batter who eventually stole second and placed the Padres in position to win off a walk-off single before the Dodgers’ got the final out of the inning.
This was Jansen’s seventh blown save of the season, which marked a career milestone he was certainly trying to avoid.
7 blown saves matches career high for Kenley Jansen set in 2012. #Dodgers
— Bill Plunkett (@billplunkettocr) August 29, 2019
Fan Confidence in Jansen Declining
For fans, Jansen’s performance only furthered worries about the reliever’s ability to close for the team going forward.
Many have already called for him to be stripped of his closer spot and for those responsibilities to be given to Joe Kelly, who’s turned his season around after a worrisome first couple of months.
I put this together last week. The numbers have only gotten better for Kelly.
Jansen, however, should have blown that Saturday save (thank you umpire), and blew this one.https://t.co/ijaQP9tldi
— Clint Pasillas (FRG) (@realFRG) August 29, 2019
It should be noted that the defense behind Jansen hasn’t been elite during his past two appearances, which has been unfortunate considering his confidence is likely wavering after a string of bad performances.
On Saturday against the Yankees, a couple of blown plays led to a bases-loaded situation that Jansen was fortunate to get out of, and then tonight a dropped ball in the outfield allowed the first batter to immediately get into scoring position.
I realize Kenley Jansen can't air-mail a pitch with a runner on third, but he also can't be expected to strike out every batter. The defense behind him Saturday vs. the Yankees and tonight has been … not good.
— Jon Weisman (@jonweisman) August 29, 2019
It’s almost certain that Jansen will have a number of save opportunities before the Dodgers regular season ends, so he’ll have an opportunity to hopefully turn his season around before the playoffs start. However, if he’s not able to shake this slump, the Dodgers may be in trouble if they continue to trust him come October.