The Los Angeles Dodgers scored two runs in the first inning of Friday’s game with the San Diego Padres, then tacked on three more in the fifth to take a 5-1 lead. Outside of those two innings, their offense was quieted, which ultimately cost them.
Holding a two-run lead heading into the bottom of the ninth, Kenley Jansen took the mound with an opportunity to earn his 21st save of the season and get the Dodgers within three games of the San Francisco Giants, who had already lost Friday.
The Dodger closer would do neither as he allowed three runs, with the last coming via a walk-off sacrifice fly. Following the loss, Jansen had little to say regarding his poor outing, via Pedro Moura of the OC Register:
It didn’t go my way,” Jansen said. “There’s nothing I can do about it now. I have to be better next time.”
Perhaps in response to his blown save, Jansen worked on his mechanics prior to Saturday’s game, according to Ken Gurnick of Dodgers.com:
Kenley Jansen is working on mechanics in the bullpen.
— Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick) June 21, 2014
The blown save was the third of the season for Jansen through 33 games pitched; he’s also suffered three losses and his ERA has ballooned to 4.55.
For comparison’s sake, last season Jansen blew four saves in 75 appearances, finished with 4-3 record and 28 saves. One difference between the 2013 and 2014 seasons is the power right-hander didn’t begin last year as the unquestioned closer, which he did this season.
Like several other of his bullpen teammates, Jansen struggled out of the gate. He recorded two saves in his firs three appearances, then suffered a blown save and a loss in his next four. Prior to Friday’s hiccup, Jansen had recorded three consecutive saves, but allowed one run in two of the three.
Manager Don Mattingly has given no indication the 26-year-old is in danger of losing his role, perhaps due to the limited options available to the Dodgers. Chris Perez and Brian Wilson have both been inconsistent and Mattingly appears comfortable using Brandon League in his current role — however that may be defined.
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