On several occasions this season the Los Angeles Dodgers offense has prevented Kenley Jansen from entering games in a save opportunity. The group recently left Jansen several of his favorite candies and snacks as an apology of sorts.
On Sunday, it was the offense that unexpectedly provided him with an opportunity to close the game out. A six-run eighth inning capped off by Corey Seager’s first career grand slam gave the Dodgers a 9-7 lead heading to the ninth.
Jansen struck out one and retired all three batters faced to record his 200th career save. He extended his Major League record of most strikeouts without issuing a walk to 43 to zero. The save was Jansen’s 11th this season.
Five have been of the four-out variety. “He’s on autopilot right now,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said after Saturday’s win. “He’s executing when he takes the baseball.”
This marks the second milestone the power right-hander has reached in the past two seasons. Last June, Jansen passed Eric Gagné for most saves in Dodgers franchise history, with 162 saves at the time.
Gagné spoke with Jansen over the telephone that evening, and was part of a pregame ceremony to recognize the accomplishment. Gagné views Jansen as best closer in franchise history.
Jansen is the 49th relief pitcher in baseball history to reach a minimum of 200 career saves.