Kenley Jansen on blown save: ‘It’s just bad luck’

Atlanta Braves catcher Travis d'Arnaud confers with pitcher Kenley Jansen who allowed two runs to the Los Angles Dodgers during the ninth inning in a MLB baseball game to extend the game to extra innings on Sunday, June 26, 2022, in Atlanta. The Dodgers beat the Braves 5-3 in 11 innings. Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@ajc.com

Credit: Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@

Combined ShapeCaption
Atlanta Braves catcher Travis d'Arnaud confers with pitcher Kenley Jansen who allowed two runs to the Los Angles Dodgers during the ninth inning in a MLB baseball game to extend the game to extra innings on Sunday, June 26, 2022, in Atlanta. The Dodgers beat the Braves 5-3 in 11 innings. Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@ajc.com

Credit: Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@

The Braves on Sunday suffered a gut-wrenching 5-3 loss to the Dodgers in 11 innings. In this game, the Braves blew a two-run lead in the ninth inning.

Atlanta (42-32) lost the weekend series and the season series to the Dodgers with the loss. Here are five observations:

1. Trayce Thompson hit the ball but didn’t immediately bolt out of the batter’s box. Instead, he appeared to look for the ball.

Turns out, it hit off the glove of Matt Olson, who leaped to try to grab it. It landed and two runs scored to tie the game with two outs in the ninth versus Kenley Jansen.

“I’m just going to leave this one out,” Jansen said. “Dude hit the ball, he didn’t even know where he hit it. For me, it’s just bad luck. Like, what can you do? Leave that one out and continue to go. It’s a long season. It (stinks). Yeah, of course it (stinks). But you just got to leave this one out and keep going.”

ExploreHere is the latest on Braves outfielder Ronald Acuña’s foot injury

With a two-run lead in the ninth inning, Jansen had the Dodgers down to their final strike and final out with no one on base. Then Los Angeles mounted a rally he saw many times when he played for that club. The Dodgers hit three straight singles off Jansen, two with two strikes.

“I don’t even say this is negative, it’s just bad luck,” Jansen said. “What do you want me to do? Yeah, they got (three) singles and twice with two strikes. That’s why they’re a great team. That’s why they won a championship in 2020. I saw them do that many times with a lot of great pitchers. Credit to them, the luck was on their side. That’s it.”

The Dodgers tied the game against Jansen, then scored two runs in the 11th inning. In the previous game, Jansen struck out the side in the ninth.

He will leave this one behind after blowing his fourth save of the season.

“I’m laughing on this one,” Jansen said. “It’s like, man, I don’t even try to beat myself (up).”

2. The biggest takeaway is this: We need these teams to play in October.

All three games in this series were competitive. They were decided by a combined seven runs.

This series had it all.

The Dodgers on Sunday scored a run in the 10th inning on Freddie Freeman’s double. The Braves tied it with Olson’s single in the bottom half. In the 11th, Chris Taylor hit a run-scoring double off Darren O’Day before Trea Turner drove in another run with a single.

“It’s certainly entertaining, so that’s cool,” Spencer Strider said. “But it would’ve been awesome if we could’ve pulled it out, but it doesn’t always work out that way.”

The Braves went 2-4 against the Dodgers in this regular season. And if they meet again, it will be in October, when the winner will move on and the loser will go home.

3. If you were worried about Strider, you can breathe easy. He bounced back from a rough start better than anyone could have hoped.

Strider on Sunday shut out the Dodgers over six innings. He struck out seven and walked none as he put his last outing – six earned runs over 3 ⅔ frames against the Giants – far behind him.

He answered that tough night with his best of the season. Not only did he pitch deeper into a game than he ever had in his major-league career while holding the opponent scoreless, but he did it against one of the sport’s top teams.

4. The Braves had just returned from Chicago, where they had lost a series. They had dominated in June, but their toughest test loomed.

The Braves went 4-3 against the Giants and Dodgers.

“I think we showed that, if the guys had any questions, we’re as good as anybody in this league, that’s for sure,” manager Brian Snitker said.

5. Michael Harris made two more great catches.

One came in the ninth, when Harris charged a ball and made a diving catch to prevent the go-ahead run from scoring. In the 11th inning, he saved another run by sprinting to grab a ball headed into the gap.

“That Harris kid out there in center field, he’s a game-changer out there,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said.

Dodgers 5, Braves 3 (box score)

Stat to know

5 – The Braves are five games back of the first-place Mets.

Quotable

“It hurts, but you go back, watch the game, let some time pass and you realize that you were right there the whole time. It’s the inevitable. You’re going to lose. Some are going to be worse than others. What makes teams good, and what makes this team good, is our ability to move on from it, learn from it and go out and win the next.” – Strider on what the Braves can take away from this series

Up next

The Braves are off Monday before beginning a three-game series in Philadelphia on Tuesday. That begins a stretch of 20 games in 20 days before the All-Star break.