Los Angeles Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen has proven over the years that he's one of the best in the game when it comes to picking up saves.
Since 2010, Jansen has picked up an incredible 206 saves, including a career-high 47 saves during the 2016 season.
He has become so effective by limiting the amount of baserunners he faces, thanks to an insanely low walk rate. In fact, entering Sunday's game, he had struck out 51 batters without walking anyone.
That was an MLB record to start a season and, despite walking his first batter of the 2017 season on Sunday against the Colorado Rockies, he now sports an incredible 52-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio:
Though that mark is likely unsustainable throughout the whole season, it's safe to say batters can't step into the box against Jansen hoping for a free pass, as he simply doesn't issue very many of them at all.
Manager Dave Roberts was impressed by Jansen's streak and knows how important it is for the Dodgers to have such a steady presence in the bullpen late in tight ballgames. He told ESPN.com that he was sad to see Jansen's streak end, but that it was fun to watch while it was happening:
"That was a good streak," Roberts said. "That was historical."
Jansen only issued 11 walks to go with 104 strikeouts last year, so the odds of him starting another impressive walk-free streak are pretty good, especially if the Dodgers continue to play so well.
The red-hot Dodgers have now won 10-straight games after beating the Rockies 12-6 on Sunday. Manager Dave Roberts told MLB.com that there's a winning culture in the Dodgers' clubhouse right now and he expects the team's hot play to continue:
"People always talk about hitting is contagious, winning is contagious," Roberts said. "There is certainly a vibe or mentally that we're going to win each day; regardless of who takes the mound or what circumstance, we're not going to get down."
With a record of 51-26, Los Angeles now has the best record in the National League and leads the NL West division by 2.5 games over the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Rockies, meanwhile, fell to 47-31 with their fifth-straight loss and now trail the Dodgers by 4.5 games.
There's still a lot of baseball left to be played this season and the Diamondbacks and Rockies look like they'll both give the Dodgers a run for their money in the race for the division title.
But, with Jansen throwing darts out of the Los Angeles bullpen, the Dodgers have an end-game advantage the other two squads simply don't have.
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