Los Angeles Dodgers fans are done with Kenley Jansen closing out baseball games.
Jansen came in to get the save up 4-2 at home vs. the Milwaukee Brewers in Game 1 of their NL Wild Card series. Though Jansen seems to have no giddy-up on his fastball anymore, Dodgers skipper Dave Roberts is totally cool with trotting him out there in more high-pressure situations. That is absolutely the last thing Dodgers fans want to hear right now in the first day of October.
If Kenley Jansen is why the Dodgers don’t win it all, Los Angeles will implode.
The Dodgers have been the best team in baseball all season long. It might have been a 60-game, coronavirus-shortened MLB campaign, but they separated themselves from the rest of the pack. It’s been over 30 years since the Boys in Blue last won a league championship. If they don’t get it done this year, this era of Dodgers baseball might be seen as the Buffalo Bills of baseball.
As you can tell by the sensible folks on Twitter, Dodgers fans see Jansen for what he is: A shell of himself. If he goes out there and throws 87 MPH meatballs to the Brewers, the Dodgers should still be able to advance without issue. However, if he pitches like this in the NLDS against the San Diego Padres or the St. Louis Cardinals, you can kiss the Dodgers’ World Series dreams goodbye.
Should the Dodgers do what is expected of them and get to the NLCS, no, that’s not going to work against the likes of the Atlanta Braves, the Chicago Cubs or the Miami Marlins. If the Dodgers win the pennant again, excellent American League teams like the New York Yankees or the Tampa Bay Rays will take advantage of the underwhelming Dodgers closer Roberts keeps trotting out there.
The Dodgers are the best team in baseball and if they don’t win the World Series this season, they will never hear the end of it. Should sluggers like Paul Goldschmidt, Fernando Tatis Jr., Freddie Freeman or Aaron Judge hit one of Jansen’s offerings into the adjacent Texas county, it might cost Roberts his job out of blatant negligence and managerial malpractice. He is their weakest link.
Despite being up 1-0 on the Brewers, Dodgers fans are not excited about the team’s closer at all.