October 8, 2020 | 12:43pm
The Dodgers survived Wednesday night. Kenley Jansen’s role as the team’s primary closer may be over, however.
He was lifted during a shaky ninth inning against the Padres and manager Dave Roberts has yet to decide if he will remain the guy at the end of games.
Jansen inherited a three-run lead in the ninth inning of Game 2 of the National League Division Series against the Padres, allowed two runs and was pulled in favor of Joe Kelly. After walking two batters, Kelly retired Eric Hosmer on a groundout to seal the 6-5 victory.
“There wasn’t a conversation,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “I chose at that point and time to go to Joe. My love and respect for [Jansen] certainly hasn’t changed, and he feels terrible. He wants to be the guy, and he’s proven it time and time again. But I know he’s thrilled we won a ball game, a big ball game, and that was kind of it.”
When asked if Jansen was still his closer, Roberts said: “I’m gonna keep thinking through it. I thought there were some good throws in there.”
The Dodgers’ closer since 2012, Jansen has shown slippage in recent years. He had a career-worst 3.71 ERA last year and blew eight saves. This year he posted a 3.33 ERA this year while saving 13 of 15 chances. While he notched six straight scoreless outings to close out the regular season, he did give up seven runs in consecutive outings in September, raising red flags. On Wednesday, he retired just two Padres while allowing three hits and two runs.
“It was a lot for him: 30 pitches to get two outs,” Roberts said. “I know that he’s disappointed as well.”