Kenley Jansen’s blown save and walk-off walk against the Cardinals had Braves fans pulling out their hair in frustration.
The Braves picked up Kenley Jansen this offseason intending not to worry about their closer in 2022.
They’ve gotten the opposite result because of Jansen’s occasionally erratic pitching and ill-timed meltdowns.
Atlanta paid the price for that on Saturday when they put Jansen on the mound in the bottom of the ninth with a one-run lead over the Cardinals.
He gave up a double to Brendan Donovan, who advanced to third on a wild pitch, then walked Paul Goldschmidt and loaded the bases by hitting Nolan Arenado with a pitch. He gave up the tying run and then walked Tyler O’Neill to bring in the winning run.
To say fans were furious would be an understatement.
Braves fans have had it with Kenley Jansen
Jansen through 23 pitches. Just four of them were strikes. He took the loss with two hits, two earned runs and two walks.
There were no positives to glean from the outing for the pitcher. It was an absolute nightmare, one that cost his team greatly. They’re now three games behind the Mets in the NL East despite coming into the ninth inning in a winning position on Saturday night.
Atlanta is on a hot streak but they need every win they can get if they want to keep pressure on New York. A meltdown like the one in St. Louis could easily kill the momentum the team has built this month. They need that momentum to carry into September. Jansen’s performance has made that harder.
Brian Snitker may want to reevaluate the way he uses Jansen, especially when it’s plainly clear he doesn’t have it on a particular night. These are the decisions that make the difference in a narrow division battle.