Kenley Jansen on Dodgers' fans boos: 'I’d boo myself'

Sporting News

Kenley Jansen's tough season took another dark turn Wednesday night at Dodger Stadium — for the first time in his 10-year Dodgers career, the veteran closer was booed by the home fans.

After Jansen gave up a game-tying home run in the ninth inning to Toronto's Rowdy Tellez, the fans let Jansen know they were not happy.

And he doesn't blame them.

Scroll to continue with content
Ad

“I get it. Boo me,” Jansen said Thursday (via the Los Angeles Times). “Yeah ... I’d boo myself. I didn’t want the results. I was [hurting] myself out there.”

It's been that kind of year for the 31-year-old right-hander. He's blown six saves in 32 opportunities. His 3.70 ERA is nearly a run and a half higher than his career ERA of 2.32, and almost two and a half runs higher than the stingy 1.32 ERA he recorded in 2017, his second of three straight All-Star seasons.

According to the Times, Jansen's struggles this season can be traced to his pitch selection. Dodgers coaches have convinced him to move away from his cutter, which is not as effective as in past years, to other pitches, including sliders and more recently, four-seam fastballs. But such a transition doesn't happen overnight, and Jansen is still working on execution.

“It’s a transition,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “The more conversations we have, I think he’s understanding that you can still be just as effective as you have been in the past.”

The good news is the Dodgers have the best record in baseball (85-44) and can afford to let Jansen work his way through his struggles without the pressure of a playoff race. But when the postseason begins, they could really use the Jansen of old.

MORE: Orioles allow MLB record 259th HR of season: 5 fun facts | Brandon Lowe injury update: Rays infielder out for season with strained quadriceps

Jansen is confident he can regain his old success even with a new repertoire.

“They booed me last night, that’s fine, boo me,” Jansen said. “At the end of the day, I’m here trying to help the team win a championship and I’m going to make them cheer.”

What to read next