Clutch Giants homer triggers boo birds against Kenley Jansen

Clutch Giants homer triggers boo birds against Kenley Jansen

LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 21: Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Kenley Jansen is removed from the game by manager Dave Roberts after blowing a save during a MLB game against the San Francisco Giants on July 21, 2021 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, CA. 

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With a swing of the bat, Giants second baseman Wilmer Flores evaporated any and all goodwill Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen had built up this season.

In the top of the ninth, on a 1-1 count, Flores mashed a two-run tater that put the Giants up 3-2, and helped secure a 4-2 win, their 60th win of the season which increased their lead over Los Angeles to two games.

All well and good. More importantly, the Flores homer brought out some overwhelming Dodger boo birds.

Kenley Jansen gets booed off the mound.

— Justin Groc (@jgroc) July 22, 2021

The boos weren't just about Jansen's latest outings (he blew another save recently) or a loss to a division rival, though. Jansen has developed an unfortunate choke-artist reputation since so many of his screw-ups have happened on a big stage, which is the double-edged sword of being a talented closer on a highly successful team that's made the World Series three times in the past four years. He still has a 2.15 ERA, which is his best mark since 2017.

After the game, Jansen correctly deduced, "Obviously, it wasn’t a good one today." Dodgers manager Dave Roberts was understandably defensive about one of his star players, saying he was "disappointed" in how the fans reacted to Jansen's outing. But not even he could deny the fans had a right to express their frustrations.

"Fans certainly have a right to voice their frustrations," Roberts said. "I get that. But I do believe that this guy, born and raised as a Dodger, what he does — he cares about the Dodgers, the fan base, and he's shown that on the field, off the field. No one hurts more than he does, to be quite honest. He's worked really hard to kind of get back, should've been an All-Star this year, and he's had a fantastic season."

The Giants will try to take three out of four against the Dodgers — and induce more boos — tonight at 7:10 p.m.