Although the Los Angeles Dodgers finished a modest 5-5 on their 10-game homestand, the capped it off with back-to-back wins that coincided with the San Francisco Giants dropping two straight to the San Diego Padres in walk-off fashion.
The Dodgers now hit the road for the final time this season, beginning a seven-game trip in Colorado on Friday. On top of the thin Rocky-Mountain air providing an additional challenge for opposing pitching staffs, the environment has been particularly unkind to Kenley Jansen.
In a tight contest between the Dodgers and Rockies at Coors Field back on June 3, Jansen was not used in the ninth inning of a save situation. The Rockies wound up scoring three runs in the inning to hand the Dodgers a walk-off loss.
Appearing concerned, if not flustered, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly explained Jansen’s absence only by saying he was unavailable and his status changed during the game. Jansen did not speak with media that night, and the Dodgers later announced he was feeling ill.
It wasn’t until the club returned home the following day that Jansen and Mattingly provided more details on what was a health-scare. The 27-year-old closer, who previously suffered from an irregular heartbeat in 2012 in Colorado, had high blood pressure that June night.
Although not the fondest of locations, Jansen said he’s prepared to pitch during the three-game series at Coors Field, which Mattingly also believes will be the case. “I’m expecting him to be available,” the fifth-year manager said.
“I’m sure Stan [Conte, VP of medical services] will have some precautions, things that we have to watch out for and that he’ll have to pay attention to going into that. I’ll think they will monitor him more closely.”
While Jansen may be watched more intently, it isn’t necessarily under the belief he’ll need to be limited. “There hasn’t been any talk of any restrictions with him. Normal usage and taking care of him like we would any other time,” Mattingly said.
Despite the Dodgers expecting to have their closer available, an appearance in Friday’s series opener may not be likely. Jansen closed out Wednesday’s and Thursday’s games, throwing a combined 34 pitches over the two innings.
Only once this season has Jansen appeared in three consecutive days without an off day — June 23-25 against the Chicago Cubs. On the year he’s converted 34 of 36 save opportunities, owns a 2.36 ERA and 0.77 WHIP. For his career, Jansen has five saves and a 4.17 ERA at Coors Field.