Dave Roberts Believes Kenley Jansen Had Added Effort Against Dodgers

The Los Angeles Dodgers overcame a three-run deficit but couldn’t keep the game tied in the bottom of the eighth inning and failed to generate any offense against Kenley Jansen in a 5-3 loss to the Atlanta Braves.

Jansen had of course been in the Dodgers organization since he was signed as an amateur free agent out of Curacao in 2004, and is now in his first season in Atlanta after signing as a free agent this past offseason.

Jansen ended up striking out the side to earn his 20th save of the season, but most impressive was his fastball velocity was sitting around 96 mph and touching 98 mph. Both were noticeable increases from the roughly 92 mph Jansen averaged the past two seasons.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts attributed the extra velocity to Jansen having some added emphasis against his former teammates, according to Bill Plunkett of the Southern California News Group:

“I think there was a little bit more behind it,” Roberts said. “It was coming in hot.”

After signing with the Braves, Jansen noted how every club wants to beat the Dodgers and ultimately end up playing them harder.

Mookie Betts also expressed a similar sentiment last season, saying each opponent always brings their best when they face the Dodgers, but it’s something the team has embraced.

“I think we all have one goal in mind, and that’s to win again,” he said at the time. “We know it’s going to take a lot of hard work, we know there’s a bullseye on our back. But I would rather be playing with a bullseye on my back than trying to chase to get to the top.”

With the Dodgers, Jansen accomplished nearly everything in his career as one of the best closers in MLB history. He is a World Series champion, three-time All-Star and two-time National League Trevor Hoffman Relief Pitcher of the Year Award winner.

Freddie Freeman had special night returning to Atlanta

Freddie Freeman returned to Truist Park for the first time as a visiting player with the Dodgers after spending 12 years with the Braves and was met with a pregame celebration prior to the game.

Freeman won the 2021 World Series in his final season as a member of the Braves and expressed his desire to end his career in Atlanta, but the organization ultimately decided to move on from their franchise legend.

That led to the 32-year-old signing with the Dodgers and delayed receiving his World Series ring. But that ceremony finally came on Friday as Braves manager Brian Snitker presented the World Series ring to Freeman and the first baseman gave an emotional speech to the fans.

After the game, Freeman said the night was a special one for him.

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