After averaging 93-94 mph earlier this season, the 33-year-old Jansen rarely got above 90 mph on those 30 pitches. While there were 11 pitches of at least 90 mph, only three of them above 92 mph.
“With Kenley, I think that regardless of velocity, when he’s executing, making quality pitches, he’s as good as anybody,” Roberts said. “But then when you start not executing and missing to the big part of the plate, then it’s not as good. That’s something we’re constantly trying to figure out.”
Jansen got the last two outs in a 5-1 in Game 1 against the Padres. But that was a non-save situation like five of his last six appearances in the regular season, though he did get a save when getting the Dodgers out of a bases-loaded jam in the wild-card round against Milwaukee.
Because of pitching the previous two nights, Jansen wasn’t expected to be available for Game 3 of the NLDS. But there was no need for a closer in what turned out the be a series-clinching 12-3 victory Thursday night.
While Jansen hasn’t been made available recently to talk to reporters, catch partner and locker mate Kelly said Jansen is handling the situation well.
“Obviously he doesn’t like underperforming, but he’s a mentally tough guy,” Kelly said. “It’s not like he’s sitting around at his locker pouting. He’s fine. … It’s not like he’s going to be like, ‘Hey, I’m not going to pitch if I don’t pitch the ninth.’ He’s good a teammate, and he’s taking it like a man, and he knows he hasn’t thrown his best, but whenever we need him, he’s going to right there for us.”