Early in the season Danny Jansen’s teammates hung the nickname of “Ric Flair” on him.
So exactly how did the Bisons catcher earn comparison to the pro wrestling legend known world-wide as the Nature Boy?
“I had like a necklace that I got earlier and some of the guys were just joking around that I had ‘flare,’” Jansen said. “So it kinda just happened.”
Jansen definitely had a flare to his game Sunday as he stroked a pair of home runs to lead Buffalo to a 6-3 win over Durham.
Jansen (2-for-3, 2R, 2 RBI) walked in his first at-bat then came through with a solo shot in the third and a two-run bomb in the fourth that extended the Bisons lead to 5-0.
— Buffalo Bisons (@BuffaloBisons) July 22, 2018
Making good contact and putting up some numbers was a bit of a relief for Jansen who came into the game in a 1-for-17 slump since July 17.
“Just simplifying. Trying not to do too much. Just trying to stick to my game plan,” Jansen said. “I’m not a guy that tries to hit home runs and all that stuff. I just try to hit (to) the gaps, and if it happens. I just needed to settle it down and relax. Try to do what I do best. Try to barrel some balls up the middle.”
Jansen played in the Triple-A All-Star Game on July 11 and then in the MLB Futures Game on July 16. Some might think that Jansen had a bit of post all-star game let down, but Bisons skipper Bobby Meacham said it runs a little deeper than that. Meacham said that the two all-star games, while certainly a fitting reward for Jansen’s fine play, also got the Triple-A rookie out of his routine.
“He had not only a break, but kind of an interruption to what his routine was,” Meacham said. “He hadn’t caught a lot either because of that. So it was a little different routine for him so to speak. So now he’s back in his routine. Back to swinging the bat good.”
Sean Reid-Foley was once again stellar on the hill as he spun a two hit gem for his seventh win of the season. Reid-Foley has won five of his last six starts with one no decision.
“The plan was just to be on the attack,” said Reid-Foley. “Durham is a pretty good hitting team and I just tried to make quality pitches to get a quality result.”
Improving to 7-2 overall, Reid-Foley threw 68 of his 97 pitches for strikes. He struck out seven and issued just one walk.
He had good movement on his fastball and threw with confidence in all counts.
“That’s a really good hitting team over there and if you’re gonna have success you’re gonna have to mix up your stuff. You gotta throw pitches in whatever counts for strikes,” Jansen said. “That’s the biggest difference I’ve seen from him over the years. He’s so much better. He’s so good right now and it’s fun to watch. He’s a competitor. He throws his off-speed whenever he wants at good times. He throws his heater-he throws 96. He’s not afraid to throw it. Challenge guys and he’s got a defense behind him that plays well.”
Christian Arroyo’s two-run single highlighted a three run ninth for the Bulls, but that’s as far as their rally would go.
Rowdy Tellez was 3-for-4 with two doubles. Tellez hit a pair of home runs in Saturday’s 10-5 loss to Durham.
Tellez, Jansen and Jason Leblebijian are all tied for a team-best 10 home runs. Leblebijian is expected to return from the DL this week.
The Herd will have a day off Monday before heading on the road to play in Louisville (July 24-26) and Indianapolis (27-29).
They return home Monday July 30 at 7:05 to open a series with Lehigh Valley.
Feature Image Courtesy of the Buffalo Bisons