Kenley Jansen made his season debut last night against the Rockies after returning from left foot surgery and he didn’t need much time to shake the rust.
Jansen tied a major league record by striking out four batters in one inning. Carlos Gonzalez struck out swinging to begin the eighth inning, but he ended up on first base after the ball got away from catcher Yasmani Grandal. Jansen then struck out Nick Hundley, Drew Stubbs, and D.J. LeMahieu (all swinging) to accomplish the feat. He needed just 14 pitches to get through the inning.
Jansen is the 74th pitcher to strike out four batters in one inning and the first since Oliver Perez last September. You can see the full list here. Here’s the video of Jansen’s inning:
[mlbvideo id=”117539683″ width=”560″ height=”315″ /]
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly decided to ease Jansen into things by having him pitch the eighth inning, but it’s safe to say that he’ll be closing games again really soon.
The Athletic’s Andrew Baggarly and Zach Buchanan report that Diamondbacks starter Madison Bumgarner has been competing in rodeos under a fake name as recently as December. The fake name is Mason Saunders. Bumgarner explains that “Mason” is shortened from “Madison,” while “Saunders” is his wife’s maiden name.
Bumgarner — err, Saunders — and one of his rodeo partners, Jaxson Tucker, won $26,560 in a team-roping rodeo competition in December. The Rancho Rio Arena posted a picture of the pair on Facebook, highlighting that they roped four steers in 31.36 seconds.
As Baggarly and Buchanan point out, Bumgarner also pointed out in a rodeo competition last March, just a couple days before pitching in a Cactus League game versus the Athletics, back when he was still with the Giants.
Bumgarner suffered bruised ribs and a left shoulder AC sprain in 2017 when he got into a dirt bike accident. Given that, Bumgarner’s latest extracurricular activity does raise a concern for the Diamondbacks, who inked him to a five-year, $85 million contract two months ago. Baggarly and Buchanan asked Bumgarner about such a concern. Bumgarner referred them to the club’s managing partner Ken Kendrick. Kendrick directed them to GM Mike Hazen. Hazen declined speaking about “specific contract language.” For what it’s worth, Bumgarner says he primarily uses his right hand to rope.
The jig is up on Bumgarner’s hobby. He jokingly said to The Athletic’s pair, “I’m nervous about this interview right now.” He added, “I’m upset with both you two.”