The thrill from erasing a 6-1 deficit turned to concern for the Los Angeles Dodgers when Kenley Jansen was struck in his right ankle by a comebacker. The ball ricocheted right to David Freese, who applied the tag at first base for the out.
Jansen walked gingerly back to the mound, where he was met by teammates, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts and a trainer. He remained in the game after a brief conversation, and did so without throwing any warmup pitches.
Trouble then ensued, as the Phillies rallied for a walk-off win. The blown save was Jansen’s fourth this season.
Following the loss, Jansen admitted to not having feeling in his ankle after being hit and conceded the proper decision would have been to remove him. That contradicted that Roberts shared from their conversation on the mound, when the closer asserted he could continue pitching.
The admission upset Roberts, who noted the open line of communication that’s been established with players, as seen on SportsNet LA:
“I think I do a very good job of being honest with your guys. We’re all trying to win, we’re all trying to compete. That goes without saying. But when you give certainty that you’re not compromising yourself or the team, then I’m going to trust it. So to then go back and say, ‘I should’ve come out of the game,’ it’s a little bit tough to swallow, because honesty and trust. If we feel someone else can do a better job because of the health, then we’ll take our chances. We’ve always operated that way. … We talked about it, yeah.”
Jansen’s velocity and command to start the ninth inning already suggested he wasn’t at his best, and being limited in pushing off his right ankle further limited his effectiveness. Though, the Dodgers’ defense also didn’t do Jansen any favors on the ensuing balls in play.
While Jansen’s ankle was improved after receiving treatment, he was unavailable in Wednesday’s game. The malaise is another blip in the radar for the right-hander as he’s worked to recapture his 2017 form.