By Jon Weisman
Remarkable in one sense — and yet sadly understandable in another, given his relative anonymity outside of Los Angeles — Kenley Jansen has never been to an All-Star Game.
This year — look out.
Not only does Jansen, who celebrated his 150th career save Saturday, lead the Major Leagues in saves with eight, he has done so with authority. He has faced 29 batters and retired 26 of them, allowing two singles and a double while striking out nine and walking none.
No one has scored on his watch. Facing those 29 batters, he has had exactly 29 pitches called balls.
Jansen didn’t pitch in April a year ago because he was recovering from foot surgery. The best Aprils of his career were in 2012, when opponents went 6 for 50 against him with 24 strikeouts, but walked seven times, and in 2013, when he allowed two runs in 14 innings for a 1.29 ERA.
The 28-year-old has pitched on consecutive days once this season, throwing 13 pitches on April 20 and 11 on April 21 at Atlanta. In fact, he hasn’t thrown more than 18 pitches in any outing this season, including April 13 against Arizona when he retired five batters, stranding two inherited runners.
He’ll be available today as the first-place Dodgers close out their current roadtrip in Colorado. Justin Turner is out of the lineup today with a bruised left big toe, but is expected to return Monday, a night Dave Roberts said the Dodgers plan to rest Adrian Gonzalez and Chase Utley.