Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen has been lights out thus far in 2017. He is a perfect 17 of 17 in save opportunities, with 52 strikeouts in 32.2 innings. He has pitched to a 0.83 ERA, ridiculous 0.55 WHIP and opponents are hitting just .147 off of him.
Oh yeah and he walked his first batter of the season, finally. Jansen set the Major League record for most strikeouts to start a season without a walk, with 51. Adam Wainwright held the old record at a measly 35 strikeouts before allowing a walk.
Nolan Arenado stepped up to the plate Sunday afternoon, and had a very controversial at bat. See the video evidence below, and judge for yourself in Jansen walked his lone batter of the season.
Kenley Jansen, 6 Pitch Walk Sequence. 😭 pic.twitter.com/OyiQCOLOJP— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) June 26, 2017
If you had a hard time telling, the sequence went ball, ball, ball, strike, strike, and ball four. Personally, his first and third pitches could have been called strikes. Ball four was without a doubt a ball, thus drawing the walk. But if either of those other pitches had been called a strike, the whole dynamic of the at bat would have been changed.
Regardless of the outcome, Jansen is arguably the best relief pitcher in the game this season. Hats off to him on the record of strikeouts before allowing a walk. When he comes in, games are basically over. Jansen’s success is a big reason why the Dodgers have been tearing up the National League West this season.