Was Kenley Jansen warm in the 13th inning?

Kenley Jansen

Carlos Beltran’s walkoff single off Kenley Jansen (background) lifted the St. Louis Cardinals to a 3-2 win Saturday. (Associated Press photo)

It’s a fair question.

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.”

Withrow walked the next batter, Matt Carpenter, on four pitches. That’s when Don Mattingly went to the mound and signaled for Jansen to enter the game.

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.”

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This entry was posted in JP on the Dodgers, Playoffs, Postgame thoughts and tagged , by J.P. Hoornstra. Bookmark the permalink.

About J.P. Hoornstra

J.P. Hoornstra covers the Dodgers, Angels and Major League Baseball for the Orange County Register, Los Angeles Daily News, Long Beach Press-Telegram, Torrance Daily Breeze, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Pasadena Star-News, San Bernardino Sun, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, Whittier Daily News and Redlands Daily Facts. Before taking the beat in 2012, J.P. covered the NHL for four years. UCLA gave him a degree once upon a time; when he graduated on schedule, he missed getting Arnold Schwarzenegger's autograph on his diploma by five months.