Giants remind Dodgers fans of every mistake Kenley Jansen has ever made


SF Gate 22 July, 2021 - 02:03pm 24 views

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With a swing of the bat, Giants second baseman Wilmer Flores evaporated any and all goodwill Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen had built up this season.

In the top of the ninth, on a 1-1 count, Flores mashed a two-run tater that put the Giants up 3-2, and helped secure a 4-2 win, their 60th win of the season which increased their lead over Los Angeles to two games.

All well and good. More importantly, the Flores homer brought out some overwhelming Dodger boo birds.

Kenley Jansen gets booed off the mound.

The boos weren't just about Jansen's latest outings (he blew another save recently) or a loss to a division rival, though. Jansen has developed an unfortunate choke-artist reputation since so many of his screw-ups have happened on a big stage, which is the double-edged sword of being a talented closer on a highly successful team that's made the World Series three times in the past four years. He still has a 2.15 ERA, which is his best mark since 2017.

After the game, Jansen correctly deduced, "Obviously, it wasn’t a good one today." Dodgers manager Dave Roberts was understandably defensive about one of his star players, saying he was "disappointed" in how the fans reacted to Jansen's outing. But not even he could deny the fans had a right to express their frustrations.

The Giants will try to take three out of four against the Dodgers — and induce more boos — tonight at 7:10 p.m. 

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Giants vs. Dodgers - Game Recap - July 21, 2021 - ESPN

ESPN 22 July, 2021 - 03:00pm

LOS ANGELES -- — Wilmer Flores hit a go-ahead, two-run homer off closer Kenley Jansen in the ninth inning and the San Francisco Giants rallied past the Los Angeles Dodgers 4-2 on Wednesday night.

Mike Yastrzemski homered early to help the Giants regain a two-game lead in the NL West over the defending World Series champions. San Francisco has won two of three in a four-game series between the longtime rivals that wraps up Thursday night.

The Giants had just four hits before Flores’ drive, which quieted the sellout crowd at Dodger Stadium. Buster Posey delivered a pinch-hit single to start the ninth, and Flores followed with a two-run shot to left field that put San Francisco in front 3-2.

“Wilmer Flores is as clutch as anyone over the last two seasons,” Giants manager Gabe Kapler said. “That was his MO in New York. He’s always been clutch and thrived in the biggest moments.”

It was the 11th homer of the season for Flores. Jansen (1-3) fell to 21 for 25 in save opportunities.

“It’s just a bad one,” Jansen said. “I don’t want to overthink it. I work my butt off too hard to let one moment like this try to mess your season up. Ain’t no time to think about it. ... I’ve got to do better. Get those last three outs.”

Victor Gonzalez walked Curt Casali with the bases loaded, making it 4-2.

Tyler Rogers, who took the loss Tuesday after allowing a game-ending homer to pinch-hitter Will Smith, earned his 11th save by pitching a scoreless ninth.

Rogers and Kapler shared an enthusiastic hug afterward.

“That was huge to get right back out there and not have to try to forget about it another day,” Rogers said. “Man, it’s just so cool to see all the guys in the clubhouse happy for me, and I’m happy for all them. Kapler showing the trust in me was huge for my confidence.”

Jose Alvarez (3-1) worked a scoreless inning for the win.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts was ejected in the ninth.

Los Angeles starter Julio Urías pitched a gem, allowing just three hits in seven innings. He struck out five and walked one.

Urías gave up Yastrzemski’s home run but otherwise silenced the Giants. He was trying to become the first 13-game winner in the majors.

Yastrzemski hit his 16th home run in the first inning and second in two days.

Chris Taylor responded with a solo homer of his own in the bottom of the first. Taylor is having a terrific July and has three home runs in his last two games. He’s hit safely in 14 of the last 17 games.

Cody Bellinger made a fantastic sliding catch in center field for the Dodgers to rob Austin Slater of a hit in the third.

AJ Pollock hit an RBI double to the right-field corner off Logan Webb in the fourth to score Bellinger and give Los Angeles a 2-1 lead.

Webb allowed two runs and three hits in five innings.

Jansen was booed by Dodgers fans after blowing the lead. He has 333 saves with Los Angeles, where he’s spent his entire career.

“The fans certainly have a right to voice their frustrations, absolutely. I get that,” Roberts said. “This guy is born and raised as a Dodger. He cares about the Dodgers fan base. He’s shown that on the field, off the field. No one hurts more than he does, to be quite honest. … I’m disappointed to hear that, certainly. He’s not going to say that, but I am.”

The teams have combined for 37 home runs in nine games at Dodger Stadium this season. They’ve hit 14 in the series, tied for the second-most in a four-game set in this rivalry.

Dodgers: OF Mookie Betts (hip pointer) was not in the starting lineup for the fourth consecutive game and could land on the injured list, Roberts said. ... Justin Turner (shoulder) was not in the starting lineup after getting hit by a pitch from Alex Wood on Tuesday. Roberts said the third baseman was going to get the night off anyway. Turner pinch hit in the ninth.

Giants: RHP Anthony DeSclafani (10-4, 2.78 ERA) gave up five hits and three runs (all solo homers) in five innings during his last start against the Dodgers on June 28.

Dodgers: RHP Walker Buehler (10-1, 2.37) has been dominant against the Giants this season, going 2-0 with a 0.92 ERA in three starts. He’s 6-0 with a 2.17 ERA in 10 career games versus San Francisco.

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Flores' 'clutch' HR keeps SF alone in 1st 22 July, 2021 - 01:34am

Wilmer Flores launched a go-ahead, two-run home run off Kenley Jansen in the ninth to power the Giants to a thrilling 4-2 comeback win on Wednesday night at Dodger Stadium.

Box score

The victory kept the Giants in sole possession of first place in the National League West for the 52nd consecutive day, allowing them to pick up their MLB-best 60th win of the year and move two games ahead of the Dodgers.

They’ll have a chance to create more separation atop the division when they send right-hander Anthony DeSclafani to the mound to duel Dodgers ace Walker Buehler in Thursday night’s series finale.

The Giants trailed, 2-1, heading into the top of the ninth, but Buster Posey kicked off the late rally with a pinch-hit, leadoff single to right field against Jansen. Flores followed with the decisive blow, hammering a 1-1 cutter at the top of the zone out to left field for his 11th homer of the year and the 100th of his career.

“I think this group roots pretty hard for Wilmer Flores,” manager Gabe Kapler said. “He’s been as clutch as any hitter that we’ve had over the course of the last two seasons. This was kind of his M.O. when he was in New York. He’s always been known to be clutch and come up in big spots and kind of thrive in the biggest moments.”

It was the second straight blown save for Jansen, who entered Wednesday with a 1.45 ERA and hadn’t allowed a homer on the first 349 cutters he’d thrown this year. The Dodgers’ closer ended up being booed off the mound after departing with the bases loaded and one out, and the Giants later forced in a key insurance run on Curt Casali’s two-out walk against Victor González.

With first place on the line, the win was easily one of the biggest and most cathartic of the season for the Giants, who were on the verge of increasing their lead over the Dodgers to three games before blowing a five-run lead in a stunning 8-6 walk-off loss on Tuesday night.

“Tonight just kind of showed the type of team that we are and the type of resiliency that we have as a group,” said right-hander Logan Webb, who allowed two runs over five innings in his third start since returning from the injured list. “I don’t think that’s going away.”

Submariner Tyler Rogers, who surrendered the three-run, walk-off blast to Will Smith the previous night, worked a 1-2-3 ninth to rebound from his stumble and pick up his 11th save of the year. As he walked off the field, Rogers took a moment to hug Kapler and thank him for having the confidence to throw him back out there in another big spot.

“That was huge to get right back out there and not have to try and forget about it another day,” Rogers said. “It’s just so cool to see all the guys in the clubhouse happy for me. I’m happy for all them, and Kapler showing the trust in me personally was huge for my confidence tonight.”

The Giants’ bats were dormant for much of the night against Dodgers left-hander Julio Urías, who allowed only three hits while spinning seven innings of one-run ball. The lone blemish for Urías came in the first inning, when he gave up a solo shot to Mike Yastrzemski that put San Francisco ahead, 1-0. The Giants have hit 144 homers this year, tied with the Blue Jays for the most in the Majors.

“I think it’s huge because when everybody has power, you never know when we’re going to score, so we’re never out,” Flores said.

The Giants’ early lead proved fleeting, but Webb said he never lost faith in his club’s ability to come back.

“That was awesome,” Webb said. “I was screaming in the clubhouse. Honestly, it’s weird, but I had no doubt. I had no doubt in my mind something like that was going to happen. When Flo came up, I had a feeling about it. That was awesome. It was really fun.”

Giants' late comeback win at L.A. includes Posey pinch hit, Flores HR, Rogers save

San Francisco Chronicle 22 July, 2021 - 12:11am

Buster Posey didn’t start, but the All-Star catcher delivered a pinch-hit single to lead off the inning, and with pinch-runner Steven Duggar at first, Wilmer Flores belted a homer to left to key San Francisco’s 4-2 comeback win at Dodger Stadium, denying L.A. a share of first place in the N.L. West.

Instead, the Giants moved two games ahead in the division, their major-league-best record now 60-35.

“Honestly, it’s weird, but I had no doubt in my mind something like that was gonna happen,” Giants starter Logan Webb said. “When Flo came up, I just had a feeling about it. That was awesome. ... Tonight just showed the type of team we are and the type of resiliency that we have as a group and I don’t think that’s going away.”

Rogers, whose dreadful ninth Tuesday cost the Giants a win, was right back in to close out the game Wednesday and he had a 1-2-3 inning. He took time after the game to thank manager Gabe Kapler for his faith in him.

“That was huge to get right back out there and not have to try and forget about it another day,” Rogers said. “Man, it is so cool to see all the guys in the clubhouse just happy for me and I’m happy for all of them. And Kapler showing the trust in me personally was huge for my confidence tonight.”

“He’s been rock solid all year,” Kapler said, “and everyone in that room depends on him.”

Rogers had struggled profusely at Dodger Stadium, allowing 12 hits and 12 runs in nine appearances. But he appeared unperturbed despite allowing two walks and a walkoff homer to Will Smith the night before; he got Smith, the first batter he faced Wednesday, to fly out.

“I guess I was like what they say about the duck on the water — you look calm but the feet are underneath going crazy,” Rogers said of having a long wait while warming up in the top of the inning as the Giants rallied. “But I knew all good things were happening, so I was OK with it. And Dodger fans were letting me have it down there, but you know, that’s the beauty of baseball.

“Any time you can get a zero at Dodger Stadium, it’s big — especially with my track record here.”

Flores’ homer was the 100th of his career — and the first hit of his career off Los Angeles closer Kenley Jansen, who entered the day with 21 saves and a 1.45 ERA. The Giants proceeded to load the bases with one out, and the Dodgers’ all-time saves leader was booed off the mound when replaced by Victor Gonzalez.

With two outs, Gonzalez walked Curt Casali on a very close ball-four call, sending in another run, and Gonzalez had some words with the umpiring crew as he was checked for foreign substances and Dodgers manager Dave Roberts was ejected.

Until that point, San Francisco’s offense had consisted essentially of one homer by Mike Yastrzemski, way back in the first inning.

The last time the Giants faced Dodgers starter Julio Uriás in Los Angeles, they collected 11 hits and six runs in his five innings. On Wednesday, Uriás was dominant: After the solo shot by Yastrzemski in the first, San Francisco managed just two infield singles off Uriás in his seven innings.

One of those, by Thairo Estrada, came leading off the fifth, and he advanced to third with one out after a sacrifice by by LaMonte Wade Jr. and a wild pitch, but Casali popped up to short with the infield in and shifted around to the left, and Webb grounded out.

Were it not for Cody Bellinger’s blazing speed, Webb would have been right there with Uriás. Webb, making his third start since coming off the IL, gave up a leadoff homer by Chris Taylor in the first, Taylor’s third homer in two games. In the fourth, a walk by Webb turned into the second run when Bellinger, who’d bounced into a fielder’s choice, turned on the jets on Polllock’s double.

Webb allowed three hits and walked three in five innings and he struck out five while throwing 75 pitches. In his next start, Webb — who missed more than five weeks with a shoulder strain — might be up close to the 90-pitch mark. He has not allowed more than two runs in any of his past six starts.

Jay Jackson turned in yet another excellent inning of relief, striking out all three men he faced: Will Smith, Bellinger and Pollock. Jackson, a longtime minor-leaguer, has worked 4 ⅓ no-hit innings with the Giants, striking out eight. Zack Littell and José Álvarez also worked scoreless innings, keeping the difference to a run and allowing San Francisco’s offense a chance to get going.

“The bullpen? That was f-ing fun to watch, that was sick,” Webb said, adding of Littell’s constant and likely dare-induced usage of an unusual fingers synonym with the media two nights earlier: “What was that they were saying? Their phalanges were must have been real stretched out today.”

Susan Slusser covers the Giants for the San Francisco Chronicle. Email: Twitter: @susanslusser

Slusser's book about the A's, 100 Things A's Fans Need to Know and Do Before They Die, came out in 2014 and she and A's radio announcer Ken Korach released a new book, If These Walls Could Talk, Tales from the Oakland A's Dugout, Locker Room and Press Box, in 2019. She is also a correspondent for the MLB Network.

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