ARLINGTON, Texas – After retiring the final batter with a 94-mile fastball ball on Friday night and stepping out on his side, Kenley Jensen was spotted at the loss of the Los Angeles Dodgers, barely visible from the right side of the man. The meaning behind it, Jensen said, was basically, “Let’s go!”
For the rest of the Dodgers, it introduced something else: Kenley Jensen – Sarah Kenley Jensen – is back.
Jensen made the final three outs in Saturday’s 3-1 win over the Atlanta Braves in Game 6 of the National League Championship Series. This time the lead was just two runs, half the cushion of his Friday outing, which made his first save from the Dodgers ’first postseason game 17 days ago. Jensen, who faced the bottom of the Braves’ order, was helped by Jock Pederson’s sliding catch to open the ink, followed by a routine flyout of Nick Marquez and Pablo Sandoval. Six pitches, three stones 7 to force the game.
“If we want to get where we want to go, and grab that trophy by the end of the year, we need it,” said Justin Turner, the Dodgers’ third baseman. “It’s going to be a big part of it. Two huge outings, not just for us but for him personally. And you can only see the confidence that he’s on the hill, attacking people. He’s Kenley Jensen I and all of them there Just know and love. “
Jensen wasn’t bad this season – he finished with 1 / .3333 ERA, strike 33 strikeouts and nine walks in // 1 // 3 innings – but once again he didn’t consistently dominate. The momentum on his cutter began to sink below 90 miles towards the end of the regular season, and he started playoffs with a shaky foot.
After failing to secure a three-run lead against the San Diego Pedres in Game 3 of the Division Series, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts temporarily removed him from a high-profit situation. His next appearance came with a 14-run lead in the sixth innings of Game 3 of the NLCS. But Roberts found easier, more repetitive deliveries on that outing. After he hit the side to easily take a four-run lead in the ninth inning of Game 4, Dodgers shortstop Corey Caesar saw someone who was returning with confidence.
On Saturday, Jensen threw his cutter 90 to 91 miles per hour and mixed it with two seamers near the mid-90s.
“The game respects him,” Roberts said of Jensen. “I can’t be happier and prouder than that.”
Jensen has spent the last few weeks in search of getting his upper body and his lower half in sync, which is a constant problem for anyone with a 6-foot-5, 265-pound frame. A few days ago, through conversations with longtime pitchers Charlie Hoogh and Rick Honeycutt, both of whom still have a relationship with the organization, Jensen was able to rediscover the clean, smooth delivery of his early years. Consistency, he believes, is starting to come.
“There is no role in the playoffs,” Jensen said while being close to the team will be temporarily removed. “That is, ‘When can you be in the best position to help your team win?’ I’ve been here a long time, and there’s nothing else to ring with the organization here. This is the last thing I think I need to accomplish here. We want it. We want it for everyone, and the fans deserve it, and that It’s about winning the championship here. “