Blue Jays reliever Janssen gets the call, gets the save

Toronto Blue Jays relief pitcher Casey Janssen is greeted by catcher Dioner Navarro after closing...

Toronto Blue Jays relief pitcher Casey Janssen is greeted by catcher Dioner Navarro after closing out the Jays 5-1 win over Baltimore Orioles at Rogers Centre. (Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports)

MIKE RUTSEY, QMI AGENCY

, Last Updated: 10:16 PM ET

It has been an up-and-down couple of days for Blue Jays reliever Casey Janssen.

Overlooked in a save situation on Saturday, Janssen was the man of the match on Sunday. He was called on to preserve a 4-3 lead in the ninth and came through with his 20th save of the season.

It didn't come easily, though. Jacoby Ellsbury blooped a one-out double over first base to make things dicey before Janssen retired Brett Gardner and Derek Jeter to end the game.

Given how Janssen has had hard times of late, was he thinking: 'Here we go again' after Ellsbury flared one off the handle over first base for a cheap double?

"I know it sounds silly but I feel like I've thrown the ball well my last two times out," Janssen said. "I feel like it's coming around. I threw a really good pitch and he just fought it off enough to get it over (Edwin Encarnacion's) head.

"No, what's done is done and I've got to move forward and know that Brett Gardner and Derek Jeter are up next so I have a lot of work to do."

It also may have ended some of the questions, some of the concern that may have entered his mind when he was passed by on Saturday.

"No, I don't want to make it a story," Janssen said. "I love to pitch and I'll take every opportunity to pitch that I can. I'm going to treat every one like a tryout. It's (manager John Gibbons') choice to pick me or pick whoever he picks.

"I just want him to remember my name by pitching well."

THE BACKSTORY

You couldn't blame Janssen if he felt a little confused when on Saturday he was pushed aside to allow Aaron Sanchez to close out the game.

As the Jays closer, the ninth inning is Janssen's time to work when the team is in a save situation. Under normal conditions, Sanchez would have worked the eighth and then handed Janssen the ball for the ninth.

Times, though, have changed.

Janssen hasn't been as sharp since the all-star break and the Jays don't want to avoid using Sanchez on consecutive days. Their thinking is, as explained by Gibbons after the game Saturday, was that if Sanchez has a stress-free inning like he had in the eighth Saturday, then he will go back out for a second inning to "maximize" what he can give the team.


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