ARLINGTON -- Kenley Jansen knows what you're thinking, but he promises things will get better."People can panic, 'Oh God, what's happening?'" the All-Star closer said after allowing runs for a fourth consecutive game in the Dodgers' 8-4 win over the Rangers on Tuesday night. "I know myself, I will get
ARLINGTON -- Kenley Jansen knows what you're thinking, but he promises things will get better.
"People can panic, 'Oh God, what's happening?'" the All-Star closer said after allowing runs for a fourth consecutive game in the Dodgers' 8-4 win over the Rangers on Tuesday night. "I know myself, I will get out of this."
Understandably, Jansen hasn't been the same since suffering an irregular heartbeat in Denver three weeks ago. He went on the disabled list for 10 days, rushed back last Monday without a rehab assignment and allowed ninth-inning homers in three consecutive games.
After he complained of sluggishness, doctors took him off heart medication Monday and manager Dave Roberts said the plan was to give Jansen a low-leverage re-entry to competition. That turned out to be the ninth inning with an 8-2 lead.
"I definitely feel amped up today," Jansen said. "The first three games, feel like sleepwalking, no adrenaline. Today, adrenaline all through the roof. Amped up and feel good. The command wasn't there, but looking forward to next time I'm out there.
"Listen, I'll be all right. I'll figure it out. At some point, I'll figure it out. I was a little amped up today. My command wasn't there. But I have confidence in myself. I'll figure it out."
Four of the first five batters he faced reached base, the only out a called strike three that batter Joey Gallo disputed with plate umpire Lance Barksdale. Ronald Guzman singled home two and Roberts got Kenta Maeda warming up.
"We wanted him to pitch tonight," said Roberts. "The stuff was good, just the command wasn't there. Got into trouble, good to see him get out of it with an incredible 1-6-3 double play. We got Kenta up because Kenley was over 20 pitches. I know Kenley's not going to be happy with the outing."
No, he wasn't.
"I try to go in and the ball moves too much or it moves down," Jansen said of his wayward money pitch, the cutter. "I'll figure out the way it used to. Just throw the ball to the target. At some point, I'll figure it. Just keep going out and pitch. It was 8-2, we win 8-4. All I care about."
Of course, the Dodgers care about Jansen's health, but they also care about winning, and there probably isn't any one person this team is built around to win more than Jansen. How important is getting him right?
"It's imperative," said Roberts. "When he's doing what he does at the back end, it puts everybody in their rightful roles. When he's right, he's more efficient, he gets the swing and miss with the cut fastball. Obviously, he's frustrated, showed it on the mound. He's a huge part of our potential success."
Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers for MLB.com since 2001.