The Los Angeles Dodgers again were three outs from a win against the San Francisco Giants, only for Kenley Jansen to blow the save opportunity, his third in a row.
Jansen appeared to be bouncing back from imploding the night prior as he began the ninth inning with a strikeout. A Wilmer Flores single followed, then another strikeout, a double and walk. Jansen suddenly found himself in a bases-loaded jam, but still needing just one more out.
He appeared to get it on a ground ball to shortstop but Chris Taylor’s throw to second base was not in time. Sheldon Neuse didn’t aid matters by not stretching to meet the throw, and a run scored after the Giants successfully challenged the out call.
Then came Darin Ruf’s plate appearance that saw Jansen get a favorable strike call but end with a game-tying walk when first-base umpire Ed Hickox ruled a check-swing. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts burst out of the dugout to argue the call and was ejected for a second night in a row.
“There’s no doubt in my mind that he went and the game should’ve been over,” Roberts said after the Dodgers’ 5-3 loss. “Eddie is a really good umpire, been around a long time. But in that spot, two contending teams, you just can’t miss that call. The game should’ve been over.
“There’s no other way to look at it.”
While Jansen blowing a third save in the past week and on back-to-back nights has drawn much of the attention, Roberts continued to diver it to Hickox’s call and the Dodgers’ inability to complete a relatively routine play.
“I thought there was a ground ball that was converted and should’ve been a force out. We didn’t make the play at second base, in my opinion,” Roberts said. “Check swing and the 1-2 to 4-2 walk to Vosler can’t happen.
“But again, I thought the game should’ve been over a couple times. … The check swing, the game is over, and I don’t think we’re having this conversation. He was going to be down [Friday] regardless. I’m not reconsidering his role.”
Will Smith agreed with Roberts, summing his thoughts up with, “I definitely thought he went.”
Dodgers sticking with Jansen as closer
After Jansen blew the save on Wednesday night, Roberts backed his embattled closer and said there was not any consideration to changing his role. Roberts reiterated that stance following Jansen’s latest stumble.
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