When Major League Baseball plays its 91st All Star Game tomorrow night at Coors Field in Denver, Colorado, perhaps the best closer in the game will not be in attendance.
Curacao pitching great, Kenley Jansen of the Los Angeles Dodgers was left off the National League roster in a surprising move. Many baseball observers were left scratching their heads trying to figure out why the three-time all star was not selected considering his dominant pitching numbers posted in the first-half this season.
In fact, Jansen has turned in great numbers that point to a re-birth of his dominant form earlier in his storied career. Consider his earned run average is at 1.30 through 34 appearances while posting 10.4 strikeouts per nine innings of work and you begin to understand he has regained his 2016-18 form. Throw in a WHIP (walks plus hits per inning pitched) at 0.98, and opposing batters registering a paltry .116 average against the Curacao legend and you can understand the surprise of baseball observers.
While understandably disappointed by being left off the roster, Jansen told reporters “Listen, I went through a lot of disappointment (over it), but at the end, I was laughing more about it…I guess you have to put up a 0.00 ERA with zero blown saves for me — for me — to get that recognition. Especially me doing this for a long time.”
The 33-year old veteran remains focused on repeating last year’s World Series Championship with the Dodgers saying simply “(I) didn’t work my (butt) off to be an All-Star.”
A maxim in pitching is that you can’t control things once the ball leaves your hand, a great reminder for even the best.