Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
Former Los Angeles Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen recorded the 400th save of his career on Wednesday night, sealing a 5-2 win for the Boston Red Sox to help them earn a series split against the Atlanta Braves at Truist Park.
Jansen became the seventh pitcher in MLB history with at least 400 career saves. He joined Mariano Rivera (652 saves), Trevor Hoffman (601), Lee Smith (478), Francisco Rodríguez (437), John Franco (424) and Billy Wagner (422). Saves became an official MLB stat in 1969.
While each of the aforementioned relief pitchers enjoyed successful careers, Jansen’s is unique in that he signed with the Dodgers as an international free-agent catcher out of Curaçao.
When reflecting on his milestone during a postgame interview with NESN, Jansen thanked former Dodgers pitching coach Rick Honeycutt, Charlie Hough, De Jon Watson and others from the organization who were instrumental in converting him to a relief pitcher:
“Man, my body is shaking right now. It’s crazy. Golly. I never thought I could do this. I never thought my dream would be as a pitcher in the big leagues. I always thought I wanted to make it as a catcher. Golly. Great choice, great choice. I’ve got to thank De Jon Watson, Logan White, Charlie Hough, Rick Honeycutt. Rest in peace Kenny Howell.
“Good Lord. They made me, man. They made this person who he is today. I said no to De Jon in Triple-A in 2009. Good Lord. I’m expecting a phone call from him for sure. This is awesome.”
Jansen made his MLB debut with the Dodgers in 2010 and he remained with the team through the 2021 season. The right-hander had interest in remaining with L.A. but signed a one-year contract with the Braves, where he recorded 41 saves. He went on to sign a two-year, $32 million contract with the Red Sox this past offseason.
Jansen has nine saves in 10 opportunities with the Red Sox so far this season. Jansen’s 400th career save not only came against his former teammates but also a Braves franchise he grew up rooting for as a child.
Kenley Jansen all-time Dodgers saves leader
Jansen passed Eric Gagné in 2016 to become the all-time Dodgers saves leader and finished with 350 over his 12 seasons with the team.
Gagné regularly spoke fondly of Jansen, whom he called the best closer in Dodgers franchise history.
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