Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen blew the save in Game 4 of the World Series to the Rays in rather shocking fashion. Looking ahead to Game 5: will Jansen be available? Dodgers manager Dave Roberts was asked as much prior to Game 5 on a video call with reporters and said, "we'll play it by ear."
There's no advantage to giving away their plans, so the non-answer was to be expected.
Jansen pitched in Friday's Game 3 and generally looked pretty good. He struck out one. He did allow a solo homer with two outs to Randy Arozarena, but it was a five-run lead with two outs and a 3-2 count. Home runs don't get much more meaningless and it came on a pitch where Jansen's only incentive was to throw a strike. The blown save in Game 4 was another story. He struck out the first batter he faced but gave up a walk, a hard lineout and two singles.
If Jansen does pitch in Game 5, it'll be his third straight day of work. He threw 21 pitches on Saturday night in Game 4. Jansen hasn't yet gone three days in a row in the postseason. In fact, he didn't do it in the regular season, either. The last time he threw in three straight days came June 14-16 of 2019. I'm not sure how relevant the data from that set is, but in case anyone is wondering, the middle day of those three Jansen blew the save and on the third day he bounced back to hold a one-run lead for a save.
We'll see how Game 5 unfolds, but the best guess is Roberts would love to have a big lead and not sweat out any late-inning decisions with his volatile bullpen.