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Dodgers Postseason: Joe Kelly Talks Kenley Jansen Struggles

Joe knows that Kenley is still all in, even if he doesn’t get 9th inning spots.



Dodgers fans had to watch another shaky performance from Kenley Jansen in the postseason last night. Yes, his numbers have been pretty good in the playoffs for most of his career. But it’s often the way he gets it done that has fans nervous every time they hear California Love blasting through the stadium speakers. 

Last night’s win over the Padres was one of the worst playoff appearances that we’ve seen from Kenley in a while. After striking out Will Myers to start the 9th, things unraveled quickly for Jansen and the Dodgers. Two more clutch hits by the Padres resulted in Dave Roberts having to go to Joe Kelly to get the final out of the game. 

Kelly was asked about Kenley’s struggle in a press conference on Thursday afternoon. The Dodgers’ reliever made it a point that Kenley wasn’t concerned with what inning he pitched in. Instead, he thinks Kenley is just in pursuit of a ring, like everyone else on the team.

Kenley is my catch partner, he’s my locker mate, and we have some good conversations. And there are some times where he needs a little bit of a kick in the butt, but there are some times where everyone needs to be picked up. And right now, Kenley knows we all want a ring, and that’s all we’re looking forward to. So it doesn’t matter who is pitching…

In terms of how he’s handling it, Joe felt that Kenley will be ready to go when his name was called. He did NOT think the Dodgers closer would be unwilling to accept a role outside of the closing position. 

Kenley is taking it well. Obviously, he doesn’t like underperforming but he’s a mentally tough guy. Like I said he’s catch partner, he’s my locker mate. His numbers are still showing good numbers…we pick each other up and that’s what championship teams do. It’s not like he’s sitting around his locker right now pouting. He’s fine, he knows the deal. He knows we have so many good players on this team. and it’s not like he’s going to be like ‘Hey I’m not going to pitch if I don’t pitch the 9th’, he’s a good teammate and he’s taking it like a man, he knows he hasn’t thrown the ball his best. Whenever we need him, he’s going to be right there for us.

Whatever the case, the Dodgers are obviously in need of some stability in the later innings this postseason. Whoever that actually is remains to be seen. Dave Roberts was non-committal when asked whether or not Jansen would continue to get put into high-leverage situations. 

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Written by Brook Smith

Brook is the Senior Editor of Dodgers Nation, with several years of experience in sports journalism. He is an avid Dodgers and Lakers fan, and can be spotted fairly often at Dodger Stadium and Staples Center.

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  1. Jensen has done out standing performances for the past three years for his teammates and the Dodger Fans, not forgetting his Cardiac Recovery and performance that he did against the sign stealing Houston Astros the last World Series. I feel with all do respect I feel the Los Angeles Dodgers organization needs to let Kenely Jensen be a part of this road trip to the World Series the man deserves the best accomplishment of his career a
    World Championship. GO BLUE ! GO LOS ANGELES DODGERS!

  2. Joe Kelly has still done nothing for the Dodgers since they overpaid him. Put up, i.e. get some big outs, or shut up, Joe.

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