Dodgers’ Don Mattingly: No real concerns about Kenley Jansen
He did not dazzle. Nor did he cause jaws to drop, heads to shake, or batters to mumble to themselves.
Kenley Jansen appeared rather mortal in the Dodgers’ last two games against the Detroit Tigers. Like a guy who could be had, particularly if you happen to be Detroit’s Victor Martinez.
Jansen blew a save Tuesday in a game the Dodgers came back to win in extra innings, and he was the losing pitcher Wednesday. Both times he succumbed to the bat of the 35-year-old Martinez.
Jansen gave up a 10th-inning solo home run to Martinez on Wednesday to take the loss.
Jansen gave up runs in consecutive appearances only twice all last season. It was his first lost since May 19, 2013.
These are the results normally not associated with the dominant closer.
Time for early concern?
“No real concerns,” Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly said. “Kenley’s stuff is good. It’s coming out good. He’s healthy. I think we’re going to be OK.”
“OK” is not the standard Jansen is typically measured against. After being named the team’s closer on June 11 last season, he had a 3-0 record with 26 saves in 29 opportunities and a 1.41 earned-run average the rest of the way.
Jansen was clearly upset after Wednesday’s 7-6 loss, but he mostly gave credit to Martinez. The catcher worked a seven-pitch at-bat before hitting his game winner.
“He’s a tough hitter,” Jansen said. “He keeps battling. I felt like I executed. One pitch I go in there and he takes me deep. He kept fouling me off away. I tried to go in there to back him off.
“Nothing you can do about it. Just a tough series.”
Jansen was hitting 98 mph on the radar gun the last two games, so it’s not like his velocity has suddenly plummeted.
“I feel good. I feel strong,” Jansen said. “Everybody is going to have their tough times. I had my tough series right there.
“I just have to shake it off, put a stop to it and now go to Arizona and help the team win.”
The Dodgers were off Thursday. They return to Chase Field, site of the Great Celebratory Pool Dip, to open a three-game series against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Friday at 6:40 p.m. Hyun-Jin Ryu (1-1, 3.86) is scheduled to start for the Dodgers against Brandon McCarthy (0-1, 7.82). On the air: TV: SportsNetLA; Radio: 570, 1020.
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