On Sunday, Kenley Jansen was placed on paternity leave after the birth of his daughter. What an incredible moment for the closer as the Los Angeles Dodgers charge ahead in the playoff picture.
What’s not incredible, though, is the fact this man still finds himself booed, an occurrence we’ve seen at different points over the last few years.
Back on July 22, he was booed off the mound for blowing a save in brutal fashion against the division-rival San Francisco Giants. He allowed four earned runs in the top of the ninth inning and the Dodgers lost 5-3 and dropped the series when they were three outs away from taking it.
He did almost the same the night before on July 21, giving up three earned runs on the top of the ninth to cost the Dodgers another win.
The fans’ frustration was valid, but to disrespect a team legend like this over and over is uncalled for … especially because you know he’s going to bounce back. He’s one of the best closers of his generation.
And surprise, he has! The man has a career 2.39 ERA and more than 1,000 strikeouts. He’s gotten back on that trajectory.
Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen has been unreal ever since being booed off the mound.
His save on Saturday night marked another impressive run this season for the right-hander. He now owns a 2.43 ERA and 32 saves on the year. For the latter category, he’s only behind Mark Melancon (37) and Liam Hendriks (34) for the MLB lead. He’s allowed just four runs since that July 22 outing and hasn’t blown a save since.
He continues to deliver despite the annual unnecessary contempt from the fan base. Don’t people realize closing is one of the hardest jobs in baseball? And that ANY mistake from the man responsible for holding down the fort in the ninth inning will be magnified due to the high stakes?
Jansen has continuously been a good sport about it, taking responsibility for his faults and promising to make up for it … and then actually making up for it. But he doesn’t owe anybody anything! Like we said, he’s among the class of MLB when it comes to closers. He’s a Dodgers legend and will be considered one of the best to ever do it when he hangs ’em up (he’s 14th on the all-time saves list).
Stop getting on the guy’s case when he hits rough stretches. He’s proven time and time again that he’ll bounce back, and now he’s doing so at the perfect time.