Intentional Balk ‘Starting To Be A Real Thing’ For Dodgers
Kenley Jansen, Dodgers win
Richard Mackson/USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Dodgers were outhit by the San Diego Padres in Friday’s series opener at Dodger Stadium, but a strong collective pitching effort allowed them to earn a 3-0 win that snapped a two-game losing streak.

Julio Urias logged seven shutout innings en route to his Major League-leading 17th win of the season, and was followed by Blake Treinen and Kenley Jansen, who each tossed a scoreless frame of their own.

Jansen retired his first two batters faced before allowing a two-out single to Adam Frazier. After moving into scoring position on defensive indifference, he intentionally balked him over before closing out the win.

“I just think guys are so good at second base of relaying location or signs, and you just kind of take that out of the equation,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said of Jansen’s decision to let Frazier take third base.

“We’ve done it a couple times. I saw the Red Sox did it. It’s something that’s kind of starting to be a real thing.”

As Roberts noted, intentionally balking a runner over to third base has its advantages, as the player on second base would have a more difficult time relaying signs to the hitter.

While the intentional balk tactic is relatively new, Jansen previously used it during a game against the Chicago Cubs in 2019, and later credited Dodgers bench coach Bob Geren for coming up with the concept.

Prior to Jansen’s intentional balk on Friday, the Dodgers last utilized the strategy in their 16-inning game against the Padres, which saw Corey Knebel intentionally allow Victor Caratini to take third base to prevent potential sign-stealing.

Jansen reflects on 1,000 career strikeouts

After a struggle-filled July, Jansen has been on a roll over the last month of play, tossing 10 consecutive scoreless innings since Aug. 20.

Included in the stretch was a 1-2-3 inning against the Padres on Aug. 25 that saw him notch the 1,000th strikeout of his career.

Jansen is proud of the milestone and revealed that he will put the ball on display, alongside his jersey and hat from when he became the Dodgers’ all-time saves leader.

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