For the rest of the Dodgers, it represented something else: Kenley Jensen – the good Kenley Jensen – is back.
Jenson recorded the final three outs of Saturday’s 3–1 win over the Atlanta Braves in Game 6 of the National League Championship Series. This time the lead was only by two runs, a half-cushion of their Friday outing, representing their first save since the Dodgers’ first postson game 17 days ago. Jansen, who faced the bottom of the Braves’ order, was assisted by a catch from Jock Pederson to start the inning, then got regular flyouts from Nick Marquis and Pablo Sandoval. Six pitches, three outs to force a game 7.
“If we want where we want to go, and hold that trophy at the end of the year, we need him,” said Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner. “He’s going to be a big part of it. Two huge outings, not only for us but for him personally. And you can just believe he’s attacking the mound, attacking people. It’s Kenley Jensen I and we are all there. Know and love. ”
Johnson was not bad this season – he scored a 3.33 ERA, 33 strikeouts and nine runs in 26 1/3 innings, but once again he was not consistently effective. Velocity on their cutters began to decrease below 90 mph at the end of the regular season, and they began the playoffs on unstable footing.
After failing to get a three-run lead against the San Diego Padres in Game 3 of the Division Series, the Dodgers manager Dave Roberts temporarily removed them from high-leverage situations. His next appearance was in the sixth inning of Game 3 of the NLCS with a 14-run lead. But Roberts saw a smoother, more repetitive delivery in that outing. After easily gaining a four-run lead in the ninth inning of Game 4, Doggers shortstop Corey Seeger saw someone who was again pitching confidently.
On Saturday, Jensen threw his cutter at speeds of 90 to 91 mph and mixed it with a two-seamer in the mid-90s.
“The game honored him,” Roberts said of Jensen. “I could not be happier and more proud of him.”
Johnson has spent the last few weeks finding his upper half and his lower half in the sink, a constant problem for anyone with a 6-foot 5, 265-pound frame. A few days ago, through conversations with long-time pitchers Charlie Hogg and Rick Honeycutt, the two still have ties to the organization, Jinsen was able to redefine the clean, simple delivery of his early years. They believe that continuity is beginning to come.
“No role in the playoffs,” when Jenson asked about his temporary removal as a close to the team. “This is, ‘When can you be in the best position to help your team win?” I am here for a long time, and ringing here with organization is nothing else. This is the last thing I think I need to complete here. we want it. We want it for everyone, and deserve fans. This, and this is about winning the championship here. ”