The Los Angeles Dodgers are logging frequent flyer miles early in the 2016 season, as their schedule began with a modest six-game road trip to San Diego and San Francisco. Following home series with the Arizona Diamondbacks and Giants, the Dodgers were back on the road Monday, flying to Atlanta.
A three-game series at Turner Field will be followed by a three-game set against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. Tuesday’s game with the Braves was the Dodgers’ first this season against a non-National League West opponent.
Alex Wood struggled in his homecoming, the Dodgers committed three errors, and suffered a loss in the series opener. Given that Monday was nothing more than a travel day, the club arrived in Atlanta by early evening.
Kenley Jansen took advantage of that by heading to the TNT studios to meet with former Los Angeles Lakers center and current NBA analyst Shaquille O’Neal, the Dodgers shared on their official Twitter account:
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) April 19, 2016
According to ESPN’s Doug Padilla, O’Neal was Jansen’s favorite player:
“He was my favorite player growing up as a kid and that was my dream to meet Shaq so I got that chance,” Jansen said. “I will always remember it. … Wherever Shaq went that was my team,” Jansen said. “Growing up, watching the Orlando Magic with Shaq, I fell in love with Shaq breaking the rims.”
Jansen has converted all five save opportunities this season, throwing 5.2 scoreless innings with a 0.35 WHIP, zero strikeouts and six walks. He currently ranks second on the Dodgers’ all-time saves leaders list with 147 saves. Eric Gagne sits atop the list with 161 saves.