On Wednesday, a crazy thing happened. The Los Angeles Dodgers won, and the San Francisco Giants lost. And then on Thursday, the Giants lost again, to the San Diego Padres. The Dodgers have gained a game on the Giants in the NL West, and are now one game back, with 15 games to play.
As fans of the Dodgers, we’re often spoiled as far as perennial playoff appearances go. Los Angeles has made the postseason for eight years straight. 2021 will be no different, although we’re still not sure whether the team will need to advance past a one-game Wild Card.
In yet another marathon extra-inning extravaganza on Friday, the Dodgers used a whopping 11 pitchers in a heartbreaking 3-2 loss to the Giants, dropping them a full game back with 27 games remaining on the regular season schedule.
It’s not like they’ve played really bad baseball at any point this season, but there has always been one aspect of their game that has kept them from making a significant jump in the NL West standings.
The topic of Kenley Jansen effectively closing games is not foreign to fans of the Dodgers. Jansen’s inconsistencies on the mound began during the 2018 season, the same year he underwent a second surgery to correct an irregular heartbeat. Whether it was the result of his heart, his age, too much mileage on his arm, or something psychological, the 33-year-old Jansen’s overall performance hasn’t been the same since.