With Kenley Jansen on the mound the Los Angeles Dodgers snapped an overall three-game losing streak, stretch of dropping four straight games when tied or leading entering the ninth inning and captured an elusive one-run victory by defeating the Colorado Rockies, 1-0, on Friday.
Jansen also achieved redemption on an individual level by ending a streak of three consecutive blown saves. The second and third of those were on back-to-back nights and were further magnified by coming against the San Francisco Giants.
Jansen pitched with improved velocity and command en route to stranding a two-out walk to convert his 22nd save of the season.
When discussing bouncing back from his recent rough stretch, Jansen pointed to maintaining a positive mental outlook and confidence as being key, via SportsNet LA:
“Mediate. That’s what I did. Mediate. Breathe in and breathe out, and let it go. It’s a long season. Nobody wants to have two days like that, but at the same time you’ve got to keep your head straight and keep your mind straight.
“The thing that is going to get me over the hump is not going to be physical. It’s going to be mentally. That’s what I did. Put it behind me and keep moving forward.”
Following the first of two blown saves to the Giants, Jansen vowed to keep his confidence and not dwell on the rough night. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts and several of Jansen’s teammates came to his defense and that sentiment was reiterated Friday night.
“It’s always great to see Kenley have some success,” Austin Barnes said. “He’s been working really hard. A couple flukes happened. He’s our closer and the guy we trust late in the game.”
Jansen remaining Dodgers closer
Like he did heading into the 2021 season, Roberts has continued to stand by Jansen as the team’s closer amid a rocky stretch.
“If you look back four days ago, he was one of the top two or three closers in baseball,” Roberts said. “It’s interesting how things change over the course of two games — albeit two games in a row. He and other guys in our ‘pen have picked up a lot of guys this year.
“So I just don’t think two games causes me to question a role. It does allow for people to be in their rightful roles in the game, in my opinion.”
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