Braves fans long lamented having Will Smith out of the bullpen but, after Kenley Jansen blew another save to ruin a comeback, they can’t see the difference.
For the past couple of years, Atlanta Braves fans weren’t strangers to the feelings of existential dread whenever Will Smith ran out of the bullpen to try and close out a tight game. What felt like more often than not, the results were less than favorable for the World Series champions. But now that Smith was traded at the deadline, those feelings should be gone…right?
Well, not so much thanks to Kenley Jansen.
Jansen has struggled mightily over the past month or so but had shown flashes of finding his way again recently. That all went away on Sunday evening against the Seattle Mariners, though.
After the Braves came back from trailing 6-2 entering the top of the ninth inning to take a 7-6 lead on the back of a Michael Harris II three-run homer and then a Robbie Grossman two-run shot, Jansen took the bump to close it out. Instead of sealing the comeback win, though, Jansen blew another save in horrendous fashion, giving up a solo home run to Julio Rodriguez and then a walk-off solo shot to Eugenio Suarez.
Braves fans hate Kenley Jansen after another blown save ruins comeback
Fans have simply had enough of Jansen in the closer role and had no problem voicing their displeasure after seeing another disastrous result of him entering a close game.
Atlanta traded for Raisiel Iglesias ahead of the deadline and, given the struggles of Jansen with October looming, it would be shocking to see manager Brian Snitker to not look toward the newcomer sooner rather than later to potentially take over as the closer.
As for now, Jansen’s blown save against Seattle now puts the Braves 1.5 games back of the Mets in the NL East race after taking the lead just two days ago. And if they don’t find a solution soon, their chances of taking the division are going to dwindle quickly.