For a second time in the past three games the Los Angeles Dodgers were heavily dependent on Clayton Kershaw and Kenley Jansen to come away with a victory. Kershaw got through seven shutout innings in Game 2 of the National League Championship Series, leaving the final two frames to Jansen.
Jansen filled an abnormal role Thursday night in Game 5 of the NL Division Series, entering in the seventh inning and setting career highs with 51 pitches and 2.1 innings of work. He told reporters he was available against the Chicago Cubs in Game 1 of the NLCS.
But the Dodgers never got to a situation where Jansen was called on, so he gained a de facto night of rest.
The right-handed was back inaction Sunday, backing Kershaw after he threw seven shutout innings. As with Kershaw, there weren’t signs of fatigue for Jansen in Game 2.
He credited Dodgers strength and conditioning coach Brandon McDaniel for outlining a workout plan during the offseason that includes plenty of running. Jansen stuck to it throughout the year.
“When we have a day off I do a lot of running and lifting and stick with the program,” said he during an on-field interview with Jon Morosi on MLB Network. “I recover quick on it.”
Jansen went through his typical routine on Friday when the Dodgers held a workout at Wrigley Field. The six-out save was the first of Jansen’s career. If he needed any additional motivation to pitch multiple innings, Kershaw provided it.
“He put the whole team on his back and carried us to a win,” Jansen said. “It gives you that extra boost and energy to go out there and compete.”
The 29-year-old has 13 strikeouts in 7.1 innings, converted three saves and has one hold over five appearances this postseason.