Former Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen is with the Braves now, and unlike his replacement in Los Angeles, Kenley actually made his team’s postseason roster.
Not only that, but Jansen reached a historic milestone on Wednesday evening when he closed out Atlanta’s 3-0 victory over the Phillies to tie their NLDS at one game each.
Kenley Jansen earned his 20th career postseason save last night.
He's the 2nd player since saves became official in 1969 to reach 20 career postseason saves (Mariano Rivera, 42). pic.twitter.com/cVaKX2RWMn
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) October 13, 2022
Jansen already had the second-most career postseason saves, passing Brad Lidge when he notched his 19th save in Game 3 of last year’s NLCS for the Dodgers against the Braves. Besides Rivera, Jansen, and Lidge, only four other pitchers have reached double digits in postseason saves: Dennis Eckersley (15), Jason Isringhausen (11), Robb Nen (11), and Aroldis Chapman (10). Chapman is the only one still active, and he won’t be chasing Jansen this October after being left off the Yankees’ ALDS roster this week.
Jansen had an up-and-down season in 2022, posting his second-worst season overall (better only than 2019) with a 3.38 ERA and seven blown saves. But he also led the league with 41 saves and didn’t allow a run over his final seven appearances in the regular season.
With Craig Kimbrel’s struggles in his first season as Dodgers closer, a lot of L.A. fans have lamented not having Jansen in Dodger Blue. Los Angeles is taking a closer-by-committee approach this postseason, and so far the L.A. bullpen has allowed just one earned run in eight innings pitched over the first two games of the postseason.
Could a Dodgers/Braves NLCS rematch (re-rematch?) be in the works? If so, Kenley Jansen potentially coming in to close out a game against his old team could be one of the most exciting storylines.
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