The Los Angeles Dodgers looked poised to settle for a series split with the San Francisco Giants on Thursday, only to suffer another disappointing loss after Kenley Jansen blew his third consecutive save and second in as many nights.
The right-hander’s outing got off to a good start as he retired two of his first three batters faced via strikeout. Needing just one more out, he ran into some trouble by allowing a double and walking a batter to load up the bases.
Jansen then gave up a run when Chris Taylor attempted to go to second base on a ground ball that could have been the final out. The Giants went on to score three more runs on a bases-loaded walk by Darin Ruf and two-run single from LaMonte Wade Jr. that wound up being the dagger.
“First of all, Kenley has been great for us all year,” Will Smith said of the Dodgers’ all-time saves leader. “He’s been our closer, he’s been dominant, and we couldn’t have asked for anything more from him.
“All of us are going to go through times where it doesn’t go our way. They got a couple hits, scored a run, walked a guy. He got a ground ball with two outs and we didn’t make the play. He strikes a guy out, we didn’t get the call. It’s tied up and then they score two more. It’s more the chips didn’t fall his way than anything he’s doing wrong. He’s been great all year.”
Jansen’s current slump began in last Sunday’s series finale with the Rockies at Coors Field when he could not preserve a one-run lead. Colorado went on to win in extra innings and prevented L.A. from sweeping them.
A repeat occurred on Wednesday against the Giants when Jansen failed to protect another one-run lead that would have allowed the Dodgers to pull into a tie for first place in the National League West.
Having allowed eight earned runs in his last two innings of work, Jansen has seen his ERA rise from 1.24 to 3.05. Prior to hitting a rough patch, the 33-year-old had not allowed a run since May 28, a span that included 15 consecutive appearances.
Roberts not ‘rethinking’ Jansen’s role as closer
Following Wednesday’s blown save against the Giants, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts indicated he was not considering making a change at closer. “Not thinking about his role,” Roberts said of Jansen. “I’m not going to rethink his role.”
Roberts reaffirmed that stance after Thursday’s loss to the Giants.
Have you subscribed to the Dodger Blue YouTube channel? Be sure to ring the notification bell to watch player interviews, participate in shows and giveaways, and more!