The pitcher with 240 career saves in a Dodger uniform enters through the bullpen gates in left field and on to the mound at ‘The Ravine’. You hear California Love by Tupac Shakur play on the loudspeaker. If things go as they should, the game is moments from being over. By the time Kenley Jansen is taking his warm-up pitches, you should know where your keys are located. But what goes through the mind of Jansen during these moments?
Jansen gave an interview to Rick Monday on AM570 prior to Wednesday night’s game against the Colorado Rockies. In brief, Jansen is a nice guy. That is to say, if you’re not facing him between the white lines.
Give a listen to what Jansen told Monday when asked what goes through his mind when he’s entering a ballgame to close it out.
— AM 570 LA Sports (@AM570LASports) May 24, 2018
“It’s just everyone becomes my enemy. If you have a bat in your hands, you’re going to try to hurt me. So I have to try to protect myself. That’s how I feel about it.”
Well, alright then. It’s always nice to hear the mental side of the game. It is often a battle of the minds, man versus man in these personal moments. A pitcher must believe that no one can hit his best stuff. Jansen leaves nothing to wonder here. That is, if you’re wearing the opposing team’s uniform; you are his enemy.
Intense stuff from the Dodgers closer.
I can’t get enough of hearing the mental side of the game, so I enjoyed this interview between Kenley Jansen and Rick Monday. We are given a look inside the mind of one of the game’s most dominant closers – a player who has sustained incredible success since 2010. For all the problems Jansen had in the early going, he’s allowed one run in his last 14 appearances. That’s good for an ERA of 0.60 in that time. In a troubled Los Angeles bullpen, he’s been a steadying influence. His numbers are right in line and tracking towards career normals, including 23 strikeouts in 21.2 innings pitched. Indeed, the bad man is back.
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