Dodgers News: Kenley Jansen Frustrated By ‘Nightmare’ 9th Inning Against Astros
Kenley Jansen, Max Muncy, Dave Roberts, pitching change
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Everything was going well for the Los Angeles Dodgers in their series opener against the Houston Astros until the ninth inning rolled around.

Kenley Jansen entered to earn the save with the team leading 5-2, and everything went downhill from there. Jansen faced six hitters and wasn’t able to retire any of them, allowing five hits and another to reach on an error to blow the save.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts removed Jansen from the game before he could face a seventh hitter, but the damage was already done and the Astros came away with the 7-5 victory at Dodger Stadium.

“Just a nightmare, man. Just making pitches and then I can’t execute to put them away. It’s just frustrating,” Jansen said after the loss. “I went back and watched the video, and I’m executing, I’m ahead of the count on everyone. I just didn’t execute like I used to. Just didn’t put them away.”

Jansen has now blown two saves in 12 opportunities this season but has greatly struggled in his last two outings, allowing a total of eight runs.

Despite the recent struggles, he is looking to move forward and put it in the past. “I don’t even think about Arizona,” he said. “Today I didn’t execute. We were able to get a win, but today was just a nightmare. Just got to put it away and move to the next one.”

Of the six hitters Jansen faced, he was able to get two strikes on four of them although obviously was not able to put them away. Roberts noted his ability to get ahead, but said he can’t miss in the middle of the plate when he is ahead in the count.

“I thought he did a nice job of getting ahead, but just couldn’t put guys away,” Roberts said. “Whether it was 0-2, 1-2, couldn’t put them away and making mistakes middle-middle. Those guys just continued to move the line and put some hits together.”

Roberts felt Jansen’s ability to get ahead was reason enough to initially stick with him.

Jansen to remain Dodgers closer

Jansen has been the only full-time close for the Dodgers since he took over the role in 2013. His postseason struggles are well-documented in recent years, leading many to question whether he will remain the closer going into October this year.

“He’s our closer,” Roberts said. “But obviously performance matters and everyone in that clubhouse understands that.”

The Dodgers’ bullpen has been one of the best in baseball this season as they have a number of arms capable of closing out games. So while Jansen will remain the closer, there is no doubt that if he falters, there will be others ready and able to step in.

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