When Kenley Jansen was activated from the disabled list May 15 Los Angeles Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said he would ease the right-hander back into the closer’s role. Jansen earned a hold in the first game he appeared in and two days later converted a save opportunity.
Since that point Jansen has largely been lights out. He endured a medical scare in Colorado and blew one save opportunity, but was picked up by his team and finished with a win. However, the last three games Jansen appeared in haven’t been the walk in the park he’d thus far made the 2015 season out to be.
Friday was Jansen’s third appearance in the last four days; third in the last three games as Thursday was an off-day for the Dodgers. It also marked the third consecutive game in which the hard-throwing right-hander has given up a run. This after Jansen allowed just one run in 15.2 innings over his previous 16 games.
“It just wasn’t my day,” Jansen said after allowing the New York Mets to take a decided lead in the ninth inning of a game he entered tied at 1-1. The Mets’ win snapped their three-game losing streak.
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly thought Friday’s game was a case where Jansen was primarily hurt by bad luck and was confident video would confirm his closer threw high-quality pitches.
After falling behind in the count 0-2, Lucas Duda dropped a bloop doubled that stayed just fair down the left field line to leadoff the inning. Wilmer Flores followed with a soft liner that skipped off Jansen’s glove, also on an 0-2 count, that put runners on the corners with one out.
Kevin Plawecki’s sacrifice fly, hit with the count at 0-2, scored Duda. “I did my job today,” Jansen said. “I can’t go beat myself up. I did everything I can. I can’t let this bother me. I just have to come back tomorrow and do my job.”
With the San Francisco Giants also losing Friday, the Dodgers’ lead in the division remained at three games, which is something Jansen took solace in. “This loss doesn’t mean anything,” he said. “We’ve got a really good team and we can beat any of these guys. It’s a long season and we’re still in first place.”