With the team on their way to a 5-3 win over the Chicago Cubs last night, Dodgers fans were treated to a rather unusual sight as Kenley Jansen looked to close out the game in the bottom of the ninth.
Kenley Jansen balked on purpose. After striking out David Bote for the second out of the inning, Jansen looked toward his middle infielders and said “I’m gonna balk.” pic.twitter.com/p47N1iOHDR
— DLD #LAVotesBlue (@DodgersLowDown) June 15, 2019
That’s right, you can believe what you just saw. Jansen decided to balk on purpose, allowing Jason Heyward to advance to third base.
While most definitely out of the ordinary, this was indeed a strategic move by the Dodgers’ closer.
Heyward, standing on second base, was doing just about anything he could to antagonize Jansen and make him uncomfortable on the mound. It’s even possible he was attempting to relay signs to the batter in between each pitch.
Whatever it was, Jansen, who hasn’t allowed a run since May 5, cooly committed a balk intentionally and then proceeded to get the third and final out of the inning.
Last night’s actions definitely spoke towards his confidence that has been building up for weeks.
Jansen has been clearly locked in for over a month now, and last night was no different story. The only reason the Cubs even had a baserunner in the bottom of the ninth was off of a Matt Beaty error.
The Dodgers will look to take the series against the Cubs on Saturday night with Walker Buehler on the mound. The game will be simulcasted on KTLA at 6:10 pm.