Including the postseason, the Los Angeles Dodgers were an immaculate 98-0 when leading after eight innings. Kenley Jansen had been virtually unflappable, regardless of the situation. But the Dodgers bullpen showed a crack Wednesday night, then sprung a leak in a loss to the Houston Astros.
Jansen inherited a runner at second base with nobody out in the eighth inning. The Dodgers held a 3-1 lead. Two batters later, Carlos Correa’s RBI single cut that in half. Then Marwin Gonzalez led off the ninth inning with a home run to center field.
Compounding the stunning turn of events was Jansen surrendered the game-tying hit on an 0-2 count. He kept the game knotted in a tie, but Josh Fields and Brandon McCarthy each surrendered two runs, which eventually led to a loss as the Dodgers only managed one comeback.
Just like he has after previous missteps, Jansen immediately put the loss behind him, via Rowan Kavner of Dodger Insider:
“Nobody told us it’s going to be easy,” Jansen said. “I’ll be back ready Game 3 … My team will give me a shot again. My guys will pick me up again.”
The blown save was Jansen’s first in 13 career postseason opportunities. It was the first time this October he was asked to record six outs. Jansen converted a five-out save in the National League Division Series, and a four-out save Championship Series.
He’s expressed a willingness to do whatever is asked of him in the Dodgers’ quest to winning their first World Series since 1988. “He’s been virtually unhittable,” manager Dave Roberts said.
“Gonzalez put a good swing on an 0-2 pitch. You tip your hat to him. And again, where Kenley’s workload, where he was at, that part of the order, it’s a great spot for him. And it just doesn’t always go as planned. But I know that we’ll all be ready to go (for Game 3).”