Can Hyun-Jin Ryu and Kenley Jansen return to form in September?
The biggest question left surrounding the Dodgers might be the struggles of Hyun-Jin Ryu and Kenley Jansen. Both pitchers are needed if the Dodgers are going to win their first World Series title since 1988. If either remains out of form during the postseason it would be a big hit to LA’s chances of even making it back to the World Series.
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After posting an ERA of 5.63 in July, Kenley Jansen has continued to struggle in August with an ERA of 5.00. He also went just 2-5 in save attempts during August while narrowly escaping another blown save against the Yankees. If Max Muncy didn’t trick the home plate umpire into calling time, Kenley would have gone 1-5 in save attempts during August.
The Dodgers will continue using Jansen as their closer but if he continues to struggle in September then Dave Roberts will need to remove him from the closer role at some point. Joe Kelly and Pedro Baez are two relievers who could fill the closer role. Julio Urias also could be the closer but he has yet to pitch back to back games.
Hyun-Jin Ryu has also struggled lately for the Dodgers and seen his once impressive ERA balloon to 2.35. In August, Ryu went 1-3 with a 7.48 ERA and the opposition hit .326 against him. The Dodgers have contemplated skipping one of Ryu’s starts in hopes he is just dealing with fatigue. While fatigue may be in play, Ryu has pitched more innings before without any issues.
Although the Dodgers are a lock for the postseason, September will still be a big month, especially for struggling players such as Kenley Jansen and Hyun-Jin Ryu. Whether or not they get back on track will play a big part in how far the Dodgers go in October.