Los Angeles Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen broke an MLB record Friday night against the Milwaukee Brewers by reaching 36 strikeouts without issuing a walk to start a season. St. Louis Cardinals righty Adam Wainwright set the previous mark with 35 strikeouts in 2013.
Jansen extended his MLB record to 39 strikeouts by fanning a total of four batters in two scoreless innings. It was the first time Jansen completed two innings in a single appearance during the regular season since June 2013.
Saves have been hard to come by this season for the right-handed closer. He’s 3-0 with eight saves, a 1.23 ERA and 0.64 WHIP in 22 innings pitched.
To help make up for those lack of opportunities, the Dodgers offense recently wrote Jansen an apology and left it in his locker with favorite candies and snacks.
Jansen has at least one strikeout in all but two of his 21 appearances. He’s on pace to shatter a single-season high of 111 strikeouts, set in 2013. Jansen’s performance against the Brewers wasn’t the only accomplishment.
Clayton Kershaw became the third-fastest pitcher to 2,000 career strikeouts, while Dodgers pitchers combined to set a new franchise record for most strikeouts in a game (26). It was previously held by the 1972 team that amassed 22 strikeouts against the Cincinnati Reds in an 18-inning game.