After a rosin bag exploded over pitcher A.J. Burnett during the opening-day game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Chicago Cubs, there was just one question on everybody’s lips: Was the powdered blast part of a sneaky April Fools’ Day prank or an entirely unintended mishap?
According to USA Today, the Pirates’ ace was taken by surprise at the mound on Monday when a rosin bag — typically used by pitchers to dry their hands — exploded in a cloud of dust around him.
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If it really was a prank, Big League Stew reports that no one has yet come forward to take responsibility. Either way, the pitcher told reporters after the game that he would be quite impressed if the exploding bag had been planned.
“If [it was an April Fools’ Day joke], it was a pretty good one,” Burnett said.
According to a Sunday AP report, Burnett’s opening-day start on Monday was the first of his 15-year career.
“I don’t know exactly what my emotions will be like because I’ve never pitched on opening day before, but I’m glad that it’s happening in Pittsburgh,” Burnett told the news outlet. “I really love It here. Last year was the most fun I had in a long time. It’s a great group of guys to play with and the fans have treated me great.”
Burnett’s rosin bag encounter did not stop the pitcher from playing a decent game against the Cubs. As NBC Sports notes, he quickly recovered from the incident and struck out 10 in 5 2/3 innings.
Still, that wasn’t enough for the Pirates, who lost 1-3.
Watch the full video of Burnett’s exploding rosin bag below: