We’re counting down the top moments of 2017 and there is no better time to do so with the year coming to a close. One of the best moments of 2017 happened very quietly and quickly. It may not have been a headline story but was still a remarkable accomplishment. I’m talking about Kenley Jansen recording his 200th career save.
The big man had already become the Dodgers all-time franchise save leader during the 2016 campaign. On June 11 of 2017 he pitched an inning to notch a save as the Dodgers defeated the Reds at Chavez Ravine. Kenley become just the nineteenth hurler in MLB history to save 200 games with one franchise.
Jansen ended up saving an additional 30 games in 2017. He now has 230 career saves. He also had one of the best years of any reliever in Dodger or baseball history. Jansen posted a 1.32 ERA over 57 appearances across 68.1 innings pitched. He collected 41 saves and struck out 109 against just 7 walks. If you remember he didn’t walk a single batter until the end of June.
That means Kenley posted a 14.4 K/9 rate while allowing just 5.8 hits per nine as well. His FIP was a microscopic 1.31 and his strikeout to walk ratio was insane. It was over 15-1 in case you were wondering. Kenley finished fifth in the National League Cy Young voting and was selected to his second all-star game.
Chris Taylor accidentally threw Kenley Jansen's 200th save baseball into the stands. Jansen called it "a little disappointing."
— J.P. Hoornstra (@jphoornstra) June 11, 2017
The Dodgers relied very heavily on Kenley during their World Series run. Kenley pitched in 13 of the team’s 15 postseason games. The big man whiffed 20 and walked only 3 while recording five saves. He didn’t allow an earned run until the World Series. Despite blowing game 2, he still saved two of the Dodger’s three wins in the World Series against the Astros. It’s so rare to see a talent like Kenley. They come along only once in a generation. That’s why we should appreciate the best closer the Dodgers have ever had. This is why Kenley’s 200 save is a top moment from the 2017 season. Too bad Chris Taylor threw away the ball.