James Outman made his seventh start (eighth overall game) of the season on Friday night, but his inclusion in the Los Angeles Dodgers lineup against Madison Bumgarner and the Arizona Diamondbacks was the rookie’s first time getting an opportunity to do so with a lefty on the mound.
Outman’s lone appearance off the bench thus far in 2023 came in last week’s game that Bumgarner started at Dodger Stadium. Outman entered the night with just one plate appearance against a southpaw this year, which ended on a hit by pitch.
In his first at-bat against Bumgarner, Outman ambushed the veteran and hit a towering 416-foot home run into the right-field stands.
Getting to face Bumgarner, much less hit a home run off him, was a memorable at-bat for the Northern California native, per Bill Plunkett of the Southern California News Group:
For Outman, a Bay Area native, the matchup against Bumgarner “was pretty special.”
“You could probably ask any of my buddies – he was a childhood hero for us,” Outman said. “To be on the same field competing was pretty cool.”
Outman was born in Redwood City, California, and attended California State University, Sacramento, before being selected by the Dodgers in the seventh round of the 2018 MLB Draft.
Bumgarner, of course, once starred for the San Francisco Giants and won three World Series with the team while Outman was a teenager.
James Outman on historic pace
Outman went into the second game of the series at Chase Field batting .353 to go along with a 1.287 on-base plus slugging percentage. He ranked third on the Dodgers with six RBI, trailing only Will Smith (10 RBI) and Trayce Thompson (eight).
Furthermore, Outman had appeared in 10 career games with at least one at-bat and tallied 24 total bases. That was tied for third-most by a Dodgers player in his first 10 games with an at-bat, behind Yasiel Puig (30 total bases in 2013) and Dick Gray (25 in 1958).
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