The Dodgers defeated the Milwaukee Brewers Thursday night by a score of 3-0. It wasn’t the usual ending for the Dodgers as Kenley Jansen wasn’t the guy that Dave Roberts called in from the pen. Instead, he called in the flame-throwing Brusdar Graterol who received his first opportunity to close out a game.
After a masterful job by vintage Clayton Kershaw, who went 8 innings allowing 3 hits with 13 strikeouts and a walk, Graterol was called upon to finish the job. He quickly gave up a single to center fielder Avisail Garcia before getting Christian Yelich to ground into a fielder’s choice and two fly outs to send the Dodgers to the NLDS. While it wasn’t a perfect outing for the 22-year old, it could foreshadow the future role that the organization has for him.
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) October 2, 2020
The Bazooka finished the season with a 1-2 record, 3.09 ERA, and 13 strikeouts in 23 1/3 innings pitched. While it’s certainly not bad for a rookie season by any means, he still needs to learn how to harness his talent. I’m sure the organization and fans would like to see him churn out more strikeouts, especially when he can touch 101 MPH.
Though Jansen was on the outside looking in at Graterol finish the game, Dave Roberts has already stated that Jansen hasn’t lost his job as the team’s closer.
“He’s our closer. I just felt that Brusdar, these guys hadn’t seen him. Kenley is going to close out many games for us as we go forward. He understands that it’s about the team and helping us win baseball games.”
While many fans would rather that not be the case moving forward, Jansen will be relied upon to contribute to the team’s success. Though if the bright lights of the postseason prove to be too much for him, Graterol and even Blake Treinen should be waiting in the wings.
Next up for the Dodgers is an NLDS matchup against the winner of the STL/SD series which starts Tuesday, October 6th in Arlington Texas.