Kenley Jansen of the Boston Red Sox warms up in the bullpen during the ninth inning of a game against the Atlanta Braves before recording his 400th career save on May 10, 2023 at Truist Park in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)
By Matthew Tallarini
World Baseball Network
Boston Red Sox closer Kenley Jansen became the seventh relief pitcher in the history of Major League Baseball to reach 400 career saves Wednesday night, joining a prestigious group with Mariano Rivera (652), Trevor Hoffman (601), Billy Wagner (422), John Franco (424), Francisco Rodriguez (437), and Lee Smith (478) in the 400-save club. The Curacao native is in his 13th major league season and first year with the Red Sox.
The Boston Red Sox played the Atlanta Braves Wednesday night and Jansen got the final out of the game, striking out Travis for the 5-2 win resulting in a two-game series split against his former team. Jansen is 1-0 with a 0.77 ERA in 12 games, recording nine saves through 11.2 innings pitched and striking out 17 batters during the 2023 regular season.
Last season, Jansen was with the Braves and posted 41 saves and a 5-2 record with a 3.38 ERA through 64 innings pitched, striking out 85 batters and helping to the National League East Division title.
During Jansen’s 11 seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers, he secured his first 350 saves in the major leagues for the team that converted him from catcher to closer in 2009, when he was still in the minor leagues.
Jansen has been a three-time All-Star, won the World Series during the 2020 season, was the two-time National League Reliever of the Year from 2016 to 2017, and led the National League in saves in 2017 and 2022. Jansen’s has a 43-28 career record with a 2.42 ERA and 1,124 strikeouts.
Jansen played in the World Baseball Classic three times during his career, and also was behind the plate in the 2009, catching the fists no-hitter in WBC history before transitioning as a pitcher later in the season. He was on the roster for the 2013 World Baseball Classic but did not appear in a game during the tournament.
Jansen was listed on the roster for the Netherlands in the 2017 World Baseball Classic, when they made it to the semifinals at Dodger Stadium and made one appearance in the 2017 WBC semifinals, where he pitched a scoreless ninth inning. The Netherlands fell short of the title game losing to Puerto Rico in 11 innings.
Last offseason, Jansen signed a two-year contract worth $32 million with the Red Sox on December 13, 2022.
Jansen getting the final out yesterday with Kike Hernandez and Justin Turner on the field was fitting, since he played with both of them for Los Angeles, and appeared in three World Series.
A video tribute to Jansen was shown, with former teammates and managers including Clayton Kershaw, Joe Torre, Jonathan Schoop, and Ozzie Albies, among others, congratulated him on his 400-save milestone.