Kenley Jansen has been one of baseball’s best closers for years, so when he completely gags away a game, it’s news. On Sunday, the San Diego Padres got to the Los Angeles Dodgers’ reliever for four runs in the bottom of the ninth, to earn an 8-5 win.
After the game, Jansen was asked about giving the game away and he focused, not on the walk-off grand slam that actually won the contest, but the bunts that preceded it. Which seemed…odd:
San Diego entered the ninth inning trailing 5-4. Eric Hosmer led off with a line-drive single to left. Manuel Margot then stepped to the plate and laid down a perfect bunt down the third base line. It was likely a sacrifice opportunity, but Margot is a speedster and the oncoming Justin Turner had no play, so he decided to allow the ball to roll, just in case it went foul. It didn’t.
Wil Myers stepped up next and he dropped another bunt (again, likely a sacrifice attempt) but the Dodgers completely misplayed it. It rolled directly to where the shortstop should have been, but no one was there.
So that was three straight singles to open the ninth for the Padres. The bases were loaded and no one was out. Here’s video of that sequence:
Pinch hitter Hunter Renfroe stepped into the box next and absolutely annihilated an 0-1 pitch down the left field line and way out of the park. Watch:
Somehow, Jansen blamed the bunts for the loss and not the 429-foot laser Renfroe launched off the Western Metal Supply Company building.
Come on, Kenley. Let’s talk about the grand slam you gave up. That’s what lost the game, not the bunts your infield botched. No one expects you to be perfect, and you gave up an enormous home run to lose it. Just own it.