After all, Jansen was behind the plate in 2006 when Kershaw recorded his only other save as a professional pitcher, in rookie ball for the Gulf Coast League Dodgers.
That's right: Jansen, then a catcher in the Dodgers system, caught Kershaw's scoreless ninth inning on Aug. 19, 2006 -- against the Gulf Coast League Nationals, no less. His arm served him well against the Nationals, as he tossed 2 1/3 scoreless innings, striking out Anthony Rendon with the bases loaded to end the seventh.
The stakes between the two franchises were a bit higher on Thursday with a berth in the National League Championship Series against the Cubs on the line. Jansen -- converted to a pitcher in 2009 and has served as the Dodgers closer since '12.
"That's the best pitcher in the game, and we know he wanted it so bad," Jansen said afterward. "... To see Kersh put his cleats on and get the last two outs, that was something."
"Once Kenley went out there in the seventh, I was just kind of doing the math," Kershaw said. "I don't think Kenley's ever done a six-out save, let alone a nine-out save. He threw 20 pitches in that seventh inning, and I just said, 'I'm going to go get loose, see how I feel, and I'll let you know. But I might be able to do this.'"
Indeed, Kershaw was up for the challenge, earning the save by getting Daniel Murphy to pop up before striking out Wilmer Difo to set off a Dodgers celebration that will last all the way to Chicago.