Kenley Jansen Back – Back – Back and Not in a Good Way. Dodgers Lose 5-3

As the Dodgers turn a corner and head into the final lap of the season, it’s clear that nothing is clear about their chances for the NL West crown. They’ve been playing roughly .500 ball over the past month, so so nobody is sure which direction this team is headed, except of course, for the pessimists and optimists among us.
The Dodgers open a three-game series against the St. Louis Cardinals two games out of first place in the division, and five games behind in the wildcard chase. As Clayton Kershaw recently said, “We had better get going. We had better get good fast.”
The next 13 of 15 games are going to be played at home, and it was announced before the game, that closer Kenley Jansen had been cleared medically, and was eligible to play, so the conditions are set for the Dodgers to make their move.
The Dodgers sent Alex Wood to the mound, and things started out much like they’ve been going for August. Wood gave up a first inning solo home run to Jose Martinez and the Dodgers offense remained mostly quiet for the first four innings of the game. They were landing base runners, but weren’t able to drive them in. After four, they were 1 for 8 with men on base.
The cards scored again in the fifth on a double followed by a single with a Matt Kemp error attached. After a balk, and with two men on and no outs, Alex Wood’s night was done.
JT Chargois didn’t fare much better. He faced one batter, walked him, and was pulled with “neck discomfort”.
Enter. Pedro Baez. He surrendered one run, but that was all.
The boys woke up in their half of the fifth. Brian Dozier walked, Justin Turner doubled, and Manny Machado singled in Dozier with the Dodgers’ first run of the night. Cody Bellinger picked up Turner with an RBI sac fly. That was all they got, but they were now within one run, 2-3.
Things stayed quiet until the bottom of the seventh, when with 2 on and 2 out, pinch hitter Max Muncy ripped a 103 mph pitch into left field and brought home the tying run. Turns out it was the fastest pitch safely hit this season.
Meanwhile, Kenta Maeda was getting the Cards to swing at air. Two perfect innings with 4 Ks.
With the score tied, Dave Roberts brought in Kenley Jansen. His first pitch was quickly deposited into the L-CF bleachers. Then the next batter took him deep. Back to back home runs, and it was suddenly 5-3 Cardinals.
And that’s how it ended. With the Dodgers striking out in the ninth, after their closer coughed up the winning runs. Nothing’s changed so far.
Oscar Martinez

Oscar Martinez

I was born in the shadow of Dodger Stadium and immediately drenched in Dodger Blue. Chavez Ravine is my baseball cathedral, Vin Scully was the golden voice of summer all my life, and Tommy Lasorda remains the greatest Dodgers manager ever. My favorite things are coffee, beer, and the Dodgers beating the Giants. I also blog about my baseball card hobby at All Trade Bait, All the Time.

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26 thoughts on “Kenley Jansen Back – Back – Back and Not in a Good Way. Dodgers Lose 5-3

  1. Yes, Oscar. Nothing has changed. As the article that was posted regarding the Cardinals turnaround stated, it started with the replacement of their manager. And, so will I. Roberts needs to go. ’nuff said.

    Wood was mediocre from the getgo. He seemed rather sleepy in the sense that most of his pitches were in the low 80’s, rarely hitting 90. He had no velocity and was not in control, giving up I believe, 6 hits and 2 BB’s. This is not a good enough outing for a starter. It automatically puts pressure on the bullpen and challenges Roberts decision making about who to bring in and how long for. He did pull Chargois right away and Baez did a good job given he inherited runners on base from Wood and Chargois.

    With a tie game which Maeda held very well for 2 innings, he brings in Kenley, who is freshly off the DL, into a non-closing situation. This is a hold situation. Why not let Maeda do his job? There is no save opportunity here. Kenley is not protecting a lead. It’s a wide open game and If I’m the manager, I don’t bring in my closer, especially if he’s just cleared medical concerns and the game is an important one. Kenley has no wins this year in situations like this, only losses. This is why I lay the loss at Roberts feet. A perfectly good Maeda who is capable of pitching 3 innings and has just pitched 2 flawless ones, gets pulled. Even if you call it bad luck, it was Roberts decision, and this is why the guy keeps blundering his way through a very tough time making it even more difficult for the team to win.

    On a brighter note, I loved seeing the game get tied up with the Turner/ Machado 2 step and the Muncy rbi later on.

  2. Who is the real leadoff batter on our team? What are the qualifications for the job? Do we have a real leadoff hitter? Does Dozier qualify for the job? If so, why is he better than someone else?

    I am not against Dozier being at the top of the lineup, but I can’t help but feel he is somewhat wasted there. Shouldn’t a leadoff hitter have a high OBP? Dozier walks a lot but someone like Grandal has a significantly higher OBP.

    Taylor, last year’s leadoff batter, SO’s way too much but leads the team in hits. I can’t seem to figure this lineup out very well. I am almost convinced we do not have a real leadoff hitter. The best one in recent memory was Dee Gordon. Fast, got on base a lot. Stole bases. Are those days gone?

  3. I had no problem with Jansen coming in when he did. You maybe should read Dylan Hernandez’ column. “Never mind it was Friedman who constructed the team’s F Troop of a bullpen, or that Roberts manages similar to when he was named the league’s manager of the year…….” I think he’s spot on.

    We have no leadoff hitter. We got lucky with Taylor last year (.354) but he’s regressed to his mean. I don’t think prototypical leadoff hitters are part of the FAZ plan. I haven’t seen them try to find one.

    I watched last night’s game. I thought we fought well. I read the box score and I think, we suck offensively. 7 for 32 (.219) that sucks, but 10 BB, that’s good. 2 for 13 WRISP, 12 Ks, and a collective 28 men left on base. Sucks, sucks and sucks. Yeah, Jansen looked rusty, but I give him a break after what he’s been through. This offense is yet to live up to its potential. At least I hope that’s the case. If this is them, we’re in trouble.

    I believe Roberts is doing things to help set up this team to win and the team just keeps blowing it. I think we’re better than this, but maybe we aren’t. I believe changing managers a. won’t happen in a pennant drive and b. wouldn’t make a micro bit of difference.

    Roberts says there will be a surge. I look forward to that. September looks like a good month for it.

    1. Badger

      That is why I said this team doesn’t need just another player to get on base.

      They need players that can hit runs in, and not every good hitter, excells in these situations.

      The Dodgers are averaging the most walks in all of baseball, and they don’t have an issue about getting on base.

      They have trouble hitting runs in.

      The reason you thought they did pretty well, was because Turner, Manny, and Cody manufactured a couple of runs, and Muncy had an important pinch hit, RBI.

      And the Cards were not much better!

      That is why the Red Sox are so in front of everyone else in Baseball, and that is why the Astros were last year.

      There is no way anyone can blame Roberts, about this game.

      If he wouldn’t have used Kenley, he would have heard about it.

      And Maeda can’t continue to pitch like a starter, because we might need him the next day.

      I am surprised that Kenley wasn’t more careful with Gyorko, because that was not the first time he has hit one out, against Kenley.

      But we didn’t hear a thing before Gyorko came up or after he hit that HR, from Joe or Orel, that Gyorko had did that before.

      Vinny would have already said that before hand!

  4. Badger,

    We disagree about the management issues. Nothing against Kenley, but he shouldn’t have been fed to the wolves, yet.

    We definitely agree on the leadoff ‘problem’. It is a problem with this team and you are right about FAZ not addressing it. They didn’t have to address it last year because of Taylor’s miracle season and the off the charts hitting of Turner.

    We definitely agree on the team fighting well in the last game until Maeda was pulled. I do not believe that Roberts is setting this team up to win. I think he is guessing more than anything else about what will or won’t work, but he often guesses wrong and this is the difference in having a more sound manager as was stated in the Cardinal article. Look at how long it took for him to move Manny out of #2.

    I do agree that nothing will change this season. It’s too late. But if Roberts says there will be a surge, who am I to doubt his acumen and insight. lol

  5. In the previous thread when I said I was 1000% on the DR is an idiot and a dummy bandwagon, Badger asked “what has he done now”. Well for starters batting Hernandez, Taylor, then Barnes and then the pitcher. 4 automatic outs. Then he brings in Gas Can with the bases loaded, yes he did a good job getting through 2 innings, but he walked the first batter to score a run. I can guarantee you the confidence level on the bench was zero, with the exception of DR. Everyone on this site probably groaned and almost turned off the TV or radio. The lineups he comes with night after night never cease to amaze me. Like has been mentioned before, he has a ton of data, does he just choose not to use it?

  6. Hey Tim
    I am sure you can find tons of bad decisions on Dummy’s part but the problem here seems to that Dummy has all the power but no accountabilty based on some of the comments I have seen by some. Very discouraging to say the least. Some feel the manager plays a very small roll in wins and losses which may be true, just not in this case. People talk about various mistakes Dummy makes, they just don’t hold him accountable in the grand scheme of things. I don’t know why Dummy makes poor decisions but he does and he should be held accountable. Fire him!!

    1. No accountability? In two years he’s won the Division twice, the pennant once, and a Manager of the Year Award. His winning percentage is better than Lasorda’s.

      You ask about accountability, how about some credit?

        1. Not for a manager.

          It’s a perfectly adequate sample size.

          The average NFL coach has now been with his team for 4.3 seasons. MLB managers are second at 3.7 seasons, while Premier League managers come in last at 3.0 seasons

  7. Badger
    The Dodgers won the last 5 divisional titles. They won the last 2 not because of Dummy but in spite of him. The players this year are about the same as last year so I blame Dummy and I hope in time so will FAZ. I hope they go too.

  8. Complaining about the team and Roberts will get nothing done. They got offense at the deadline and did not address the bullpen except for a guy who is now on the DL. Axford. The offense has done this all year. They went on a good little run when they came from 10 games under .500 to get to first place. They hit home runs like crazy, but a large majority of those shots are solo jobs. Taylor has surpassed last years K total in less at bats. That right there is an alarm bell. Grandmal is a K waiting to happen. He took over for Barnes and struck out 3 times. They get guys on base, and nobody drives them in. This is who the 2018 Dodgers are, and not all the blame can be put on Roberts head. Oh yeah, maybe the pitching decisions sometimes, but the performance on the field is squarely on the shoulders of the guys doing the playing. Roberts is playing the hand he was given. Consider this, They still have some of their best relievers on the DL. At least guys who got the job done last year. Cingrani and Fields. So the backend of the pen is guys who were not here and are not doing the job all that great. Baez, despite allowing the 3rd Cardinal run, did a decent job and has been pretty good his last couple of games. And Jeff, Maeda had been pinch hit for when they tied the game. News around baseball is that DC has gone into sell mode. There is a deal pending for Daniel Murphy who was claimed on waivers. I think there is a pretty good chance at this point that they are going to deal Harper too. Pitching is what got the Dodgers where they are now, and pitching is what is going to get them either a division title, or a trip home the end of September, because they are way out of the wild card picture. They generate enough offense to win if the pitching holds up. 10 days until the non waiver deadline. What they need to do is hold serve and maybe gain 1 1/2 games in the standings this next week. Because next weekend, they have the D-Backs in LA for 4 games, which in my humble opinion, are going to be huge in deciding who wins this thing. If they do not make the playoffs, look for some changes this offseason either in the coaching ranks, definitely at the player level, and maybe even some in management. Roberts is after all on an expiring contract. Oh yeah, division titles are nice, but worth nothing as bragging rights. One of those division titles, the Giants went to the World Series instead of the Dodgers and they won. 2014. There is a rumor that Honeycutt might retire. He almost did that last season.

    1. Well said Bear.

      I still believe we are good enough to win this Division but I will admit I did not expect Colorado to be in it at this point. Arizona, yes, they are a good team. But not better than us. Colorado can disappear at any time thank you.

      We need to hit. This is a team with run scoring potential and if we don’t realize that potential down the stretch then we don’t deserve the post season. Blame Roberts if you choose to, and he may be the fall guy, but this F Troop bullpen and collection of blind squirrels is brought to you by Fried Zaidi & Co. Roberts may go, but as long as those guys remain we are in for a lot more of what you see is what you get, no matter who runs the dugout.

      1. Badger

        Your right, nothing has changed after last night, because there is not one team in the Western division, that has been dominant.

        But right now the wild card seems out, because there are so many teams still fighting for it, and right now, they have better records then us.

        We are behind both the Dbacks and the Rockies, three games in the loss column right now too.

        But this is going to make the West a crazy division race this year, and hopefully we will be in this race.

        And like I already said, that was not the first HR that Gyorko has hit off Kenley, he hit one out, when Kenley was also 100 percent healthy too.

        Badger the Cards starting pitcher tonight, is from La Miranda, not to far from where you use to live.

        1. La Mirada. We played them in high school. Beat ‘em all three years we played ‘em.

          Look at the September schedule. The Division will be decided in those 4 weeks.

    2. MIchael,

      Roberts had already made the decision to pull Maeda when Puig batted for him in the 8th inning. The score was tied and nothing came of Puig’s hit. Roberts had already decided that he wanted to bring in Kenley. To me, this was a questionable move that cost us the game, not whether we didn’t score enough runs before that. The present situation is the only thing that mattered. Kenley, a great closer, who was just coming off a real scare concerning his heart, who had not played in several days, is thrown into a tense and important game. Usually, players have to adjust being newly back from rehab or inactivity. Your head needs time to make that adjustment. Pitching is a very mental game. Even Kenley said he was flat. No player will refuse to play if called upon unless physically unable to. These are the kinds of decisions that win or lose games, and Roberts certainly has his fair share of losses to be accountable for, but as others have said, the real accountability falls on FAZ and their hirings and how they construct a team.

      1. Exactly. Maeda was pulled for a pinch hitter in the bottom of the 8th. They were trying to get a run so Kenley would come in with a lead. Didn’t happen. So, Roberts had options and made a bad choice. But I understand the move because he wanted to get Kenley back on the horse. Kenley and the medical staff said he was ready to go. He had thrown some bullpen sessions and they went well. Those kinds of decisions are made every day. The problem was not Kenley’s poor performance. The problem is the inconsistency of the offense, which continues to sputter. Doing the same thing in tonight’s game and about to lose more ground to Arizona.

  9. News is that the Dodgers claimed Harper. But the Nat’s pulled him back. The waiver period has expired, so Harper is staying in DC. Murphy was claimed by the Cubs and has indeed been sent to Chicago. In another move, Matt Adams has been sent to the Cardinals. Details on MLB.COM. Murphy was traded and Adams was sent via waiver claim. The rich get richer, and the Cubs lineup is every bit as formidable as any in the league. DC officially out of the race. They pulled Harper back because they feel they can get a first rounder this off season and that would be better than what the Dodgers might have offered. The way it is sounding, there were no negotiations between the two teams.

    1. Well, technically they can put him on waivers again, but they can’t pull him back if anyone claims him. That team would just flat get him. They would have to assume his salary but they wouldn’t have to pay Washington anything at all for him. I think it’s safe to say they won’t be doing that…

    2. Bumsrap on the other blog claims Kemp and a prospect were the offer for Harper. About what I figured, FAZ knew they wouldn’t take Kemp and his $21 MM salary next year. He flat out didn’t want Harper.

      1. That makes NO sense.

        Stupid Dummy. He sends up 3 guys that all strike out in the first. The man has no idea how to make out a lineup.

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