The Los Angeles Dodgers own the second-best record in all of baseball at 96-54 and already have punched their ticket to the playoffs for a ninth consecutive season.
Despite winning a franchise-record 106 games in 2019 and the World Series last season, many would argue this year’s Dodgers roster boasts more talent than ever before.
Among the strengths is a bullpen that has been spearheaded by Kenley Jansen. The 33-year-old is in the midst of his 12th big league season and continues to be a reliable option for manager Dave Roberts in high-leverage situations.
“Kenley’s been fantastic for us all year,” Roberts said. “Every player — position or pitcher — is going to have a couple rough stretches.
“It happened to Kenley right after the break, but outside of that he’s been fantastic and probably more consistent than any closer in the big leagues. I don’t want to imagine where we would be without him.”
After a disappointing end to the 2020 season, Jansen responded by posting a minuscule 1.24 ERA in 36 appearances during the first half.
He has been less effective in the second half, as evidenced by his 4.10 ERA in 25 games, but that can be attributed to a rough stretch in July in which Jansen allowed seven runs in back-to-back appearances against the San Francisco Giants.
Jansen for the season has pitched to a 2-4 record, 2.44 ERA, 3.29 FIP and 1.09 WHIP with 76 strikeouts against 34 walks while converting 34 saves in 39 opportunities and appearing in 63 games overall.
Jansen: Dodgers can be best team in baseball
After sweeping the San Diego Padres and Arizona Diamondbacks on their recent homestand, Jansen opined the Dodgers can be the best team in baseball if they continue focusing on themselves.
“It’s definitely huge,” Jansen said about the successful homestand. “Knowing the Giants have been playing unbelievable baseball this whole season, we’ve just got to take care of us and keep playing good baseball.
“Whenever we worry about us, good things are going to happen. I think when we do that, nobody is better than us in this league.”
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