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Boston reliever Kenley Jansen says slick baseballs hard to control

 The Associated Press  |    Apr 14th, 2024 7:14pm EDT

BOSTON (AP) — Kenley Jansen is upset with the quality of baseballs.

“I got to get better, but also if you’re playing in the cold weather, windy, and you get pearls balls out there that’s not rubbed well, I don’t know where the ball’s going,” the Boston reliever said after Sunday’s 5-4 win over the Los Angeles Angels.

The 36-year-old right-hander entered with a two-run lead, hit Logan O’Hoppe leading off, then gave up a single, walk and Anthony Rendon’s sacrifice fly before striking out Luis Rengifo and Mike Trout for his fourth save in four chances.

Jansen tied John Franco for fifth place with his 424th save.

“I don’t hit guys, I don’t walk people this much. And I start to get frustrated.” Jansen said. “Any balls that came, I just throw it back ’til when I find a good ball. And it’s just brutal.”

Jansen said bullpen balls were better rubbed than game balls.

“It’s embarrassing. It’s been a while I’ve been playing in this league and, from the beginning of my career until now, it’s getting worse,” he said.

“It’s been an issue the whole year,” he said. “I’ve been talking to a lot of my teammates and they feel the same way. First pitch, get out of my hand, I don’t know where it’s going. Second pitch, the same thing. Then, I tried to throw a ball down the middle, just keep going down. It’s tough trying to make an adjustment and also you have the clock ticking.”

Jansen felt he got lucky when he faced Trout, that he threw a few balls out “and got some that are rubbed-up balls.”

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