LOS ANGELES -- Kenley Jansen wasn't looking for redemption or atonement Tuesday, he just wanted to move on. He accomplished that when he emphatically slammed the door in the Dodgers' 6-5 win of Game 4 in the National League Division Series, just a day after one of the roughest outings of
LOS ANGELES -- Kenley Jansen wasn't looking for redemption or atonement Tuesday, he just wanted to move on. He accomplished that when he emphatically slammed the door in the Dodgers' 6-5 win of Game 4 in the National League Division Series, just a day after one of the roughest outings of his career.
Jansen struck out Stephen Drew and Trea Turner to open the ninth inning, then forced a weak grounder from Bryce Harper to get the game's final out and ensure a Game 5 in Washington (Thurs, 8 p.m. ET/5 PT, FS1). That last out required a great play from Chase Utley to flip the ball to Jansen at first, but there was no doubt the closer's cutter was working in his seventh career postseason save.
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It was quite the different look from Monday, when Jansen yielded four runs in an 8-3 loss.
"Everything that happened yesterday was history. Can't worry about what happened yesterday," Jansen said after Tuesday's game." Just got to come out there and do it. Every time I get hit like that, I just want that ball. I just went out there and helped the team out, and that's what it's all about."
Monday was the first time Jansen had yielded four runs since August 2012. Jayson Werth hit a 450-foot home run, the longest homer that Statcast™ has ever measured off Jansen. It didn't get much better from there, as Jansen went on to walk Daniel Murphy, hit Harper with a pitch, and give up a double to Ryan Zimmerman.
Nothing was working that day, even though Harper, the only player to face him on both Monday and Tuesday, didn't see much of a difference in his stuff.
"I don't know about any different," Harper said. "He's Jansen every single time he goes out there, one of the best closers in baseball. It's a lot of fun to go up against him. He's one of the best in baseball, and he got us today."
Jansen's effectiveness doesn't just come from his high-velocity cutter. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said a massive part is his righty's short memory and his trust that the cutter will work a night after it goes belly up.
"You know what, Kenley, it was one of those things that you can't be perfect every day," Roberts said. "But his resilience to come back after yesterday and to have that short memory that the great closers have to have, no surprise, and he rose to the moment."
Jack Baer is a reporter for MLB.com.