On Friday night, Los Angeles Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen notched his 40th save of the season. He became the first Dodger to do so since Eric Gagne in 2004.
The save on Friday came after Jansen blew his first opportunity at 40 on Wednesday against the Washington Nationals. Jansen gave up three runs in the ninth inning to put the Dodgers down 3-2. They would eventually drop the game in 14 innings. Jansen came back to throw a scoreless ninth inning on Friday.
According to Steve Dilbeck of the LA Times, Dodger manager Don Mattingly likes the way his closer bounces back:
That’s the one thing we’ve seen with Kenley, he doesn’t seem to be bothered by [stumbles] like the other day,” said Manager Don Mattingly. “He seems to be able to bounce right back and get the next one. Which is the quality you want out of that guy at the end of the day.”
Jansen has blown five saves this season, but has recovered nicely from each one of them.
The hard-throwing right-hander discussed his ability to get over it:
If you want to do this job a long time, you can’t worry about situations like Wednesday,” he said. “We have to realize we’re human, we’re not a machine out there. At the same time, you want to win that game. I mean, it hurt, but you have to be able to move on from it.”
The 26-year-old has a 3.14 ERA to go along with his 40 saves this season. He also has struck out 90 batters in 57.1 innings, a clip of 14.1 K/9. This is Jansen’s first full season at closer and he has been one of the more consistent arms in the Dodger bullpen. His cutter has become known as one of the better pitches in the league.
The Dodgers will need Jansen and his short memory to continue to pitch well down the stretch.
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