A little more than two weeks ago, Kenley Jansen set the record for most strikeouts to begin a season before allowing one walk. The record-breaking strikeout was No. 36, and he hasn’t slowed down since—getting No. 50 to go down swinging last night.
While his K/BB ratio should technically be undefined by basic mathematical rules, baseball apparently demands real numbers for its statistical output, as Jansen’s official figure is currently sitting pretty at 50.0. He’s now pitched nearly 30 innings, facing 107 batters. He’s only gotten in a full count six times, a 3-1 count twice, and a 3-0 count once. (And, again, zero walks. In 107 plate appearances.) There isn’t much, if anything, that’s changed about his approach this season; the cutter that typically represents more than 85 percent of his pitches has continued to do so, with the same movement and the same mid-90s velocity that it’s showed in recent years.
It isn’t anything different. It’s simply that Jansen has been one of the best relievers in baseball for the past several seasons, and now he’s having one of the best stretches in baseball that we’ve seen in quite a while.