Video: Kenley Jansen pulled off funny intentional balk
Major League Baseball is a copycat league and we saw that again on Friday night.
Leading the San Diego Padres, 3-0, in the top of the 9th inning, Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Kenley Jansen stepped on the rubber and proceeded to intentionally drop the ball leading to a balk, sending Adam Frazier from second base to third.
Intentional balk pioneer Kenley Jansen wants his recognition. pic.twitter.com/rpjQW4x5jB
— Chad Moriyama (@ChadMoriyama) September 11, 2021
Two pitches later, pinch hitter Eric Hosmer grounded out and the game was over.
The intent behind Jansen’s intentional balk was clear: moving the runner from second to third eliminated the Padres’ ability to steal signs. It’s exactly what Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Collin McHugh did earlier this week during an extra-inning 11-10 victory over the Boston Red Sox. Of course, that scenario didn’t play out nearly as cleanly as Jansen’s did on Friday night.
It was also not the first time Jansen executed an intentional balk. In fact, he didn’t copy the Rays — they copied him.
Back in 2019, with the Dodgers leading the Chicago Cubs 5-3 with two outs in the top of the ninth inning, Jansen decided he didn’t want to deal with the alternate sign sequence so he intentionally balked, sending Jason Heyward from second base to third.
Just like on Friday night, Jansen’s intentional balk paid off and the Dodgers walked away victorious.