In what was a back-and-forth game, the Los Angeles Dodgers wound up suffering a 9-8 walk-off loss to the Philadelphia Phillies, with Bryce Harper delivering a game-winning two-run double.
The Dodgers found themselves trailing 6-1 after just two innings, but worked all the way back to take an 8-6 lead in the ninth inning after a pinch-hit three-run home run from Matt Beaty.
Kenley Jansen came in to close it out but was not able to get the job done as he got a quick out and then allowed four straight hits in the blown save. One of those was a blooper that A.J. Pollock likely should have caught in center field.
However, it can be reasoned Jansen would have likely still blown the save after giving up two doubles and a single. On the one out Jansen did get, he may have suffered a minor injury.
Adam Haseley led off the bottom of the ninth with a comebacker that hit Jansen’s leg and rolled straight to David Freese at first base for the out. Jansen was noticeably limping after that and even got looked at by the team trainer before allowing the walk-off to Harper.
After the game, Jansen conceded he should not have continued to pitch, via Bill Plunkett of the Southern California News Group:
“It definitely felt numb. It didn’t feel great,” Jansen said later after limping to his locker. “Then the second pitch to (Cesar) Hernandez I couldn’t push no more. It was just pain.
“If I look back, I probably would have come out of the game. But I’m not going to take myself out of the game. It didn’t help us. I couldn’t even push anymore. I couldn’t even go (toward) home. It was all arm.
“I just told him ‘It hurts but I’m good. Let’s go,’” Jansen said of the visit from Roberts. “Listen … I’m not a quitter. Even if it hurts, I’m still going to go out there and compete. But I should have been a little smarter myself and be honest with myself and come out of the game. I take the blame on myself.
I’m not an excuse guy. But I shouldn’t keep pitching. … I should have come out of the game.”
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts critiqued Jansen’s appearance and also explained what led to the closer remaining in the game, as seen on SportsNet LA:
“I don’t think Kenley had his stuff tonight. I think that if you look back, the execution wasn’t there tonight. Getting behind hitters, and that’s going to happen.”
“That’s the first out of the inning, and I’m not sure if that had something to do with it. I don’t think Kenley’s going to make that an excuse. He’s in the game and felt he could continue to go. So once he gives us that assurance that he can’t hurt himself more and feels like he can make pitches, for me I wanted to keep him going.”
Jansen has now blown four saves in 27 attempts this season, which is obviously not ideal for a team that has World Series aspirations.
It is no secret the Dodgers will look to bolster their bullpen before the July 31 trade deadline, but with Jansen’s inconsistency and perhaps some uncertainty with his health moving forward, it becomes even more important that they get one of the top arms available.