Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen blew his second save of the season on Tuesday night against the Padres, serving up two runs in the bottom of the ninth to send the game into extras. Thankfully for the Dodgers, they were able to plate four runs in the 12th to win 7-3.
On the season, Jansen is 2-for-4 in save chances with a 8.10 ERA in eight innings. Jansen blew only one save all of last season. The right-hander has already walked three of the 31 batters he’s faced, a 9.7 percent walk rate that would obliterate his quite low walk rates of the last three seasons (2.7%, 4.4%, 4.0%). And he has only struck out seven of those 31 batters. That 22.6 percent K-rate is much lower than his career rate around 40 percent.
Another figure that sticks out is velocity. According to Statcast, Jansen averaged 94.8 MPH on his fastball and 93.3 MPH on his cutter last year. Those numbers are down to 92.9 and 91.1 MPH, respectively, to start this season.
For what it’s worth, Jansen isn’t worried. Per ESPN, he said after last night’s game, “I have confidence in myself that I will find it. It’s just a matter of time. Hopefully I can get an opportunity tomorrow because tonight — that’s not who I am.”
Manager Dave Roberts said Jansen’s cutter hasn’t been up to par. Talking about last night’s game, he said, “It was just the characteristics of his cutter just weren’t doing what it typically does. There were some good throws in there with the cut. But there were some others that were just straight as a string.”
The defending National League champion Dodgers have gotten off to a disappointing 7-9 start. They will certainly need Jansen to correct course if the club is going to defend its throne atop the league.