The temperature at Busch Stadium was in the low 60s when Dodgers pitcher Chris Withrow allowed a bloop single to St. Louis Cardinals pinch-hitter Daniel Descalso in the early hours Saturday morning. That’s when Jansen said he began to throw in the bullpen, having not thrown a warm-up pitch at any point prior to the 13th inning.
Was it tough to stay warm?
“Yeah kinda,” Jansen said, “but you’ve just got to keep being strong out there.”
No major-league closer, Jansen included, would tell a manager he wasn’t warm in that situation, even if he truly needed another batter. But, given a chance to give a different answer after the game, Jansen insisted he was ready.
“I think so,” Jansen said. “I think I got enough (throws) and got in there.”
The velocity on Jansen’s cut fastball was typical, registering as high as 94 mph on the stadium radar gun and as low as 92. But after getting a quick strike, Jansen threw three straight pitches around Beltran’s knees that were called balls by home plate umpire Gerry Davis.
“It’s no secret there,” Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis said. “We have Kenley on the mound. Everybody knows what he’s trying to do. We had to throw a strike there.”
Jansen raised his next cutter just above the knees and threw it right down the middle of the plate. Beltran, in his 40th postseason game, knew exactly what to do, hitting a line drive down the right-field line.
“He’s a pro,” Jansen said of Beltran. “Put a good swing on.”