When Reds reliever Aroldis Chapman pitches, he’s not simply a man throwing baseballs. He’s a rocket launcher unleashing projectiles at speeds previously unknown to the baseball world.
Chapman holds the record for the fastest pitch ever in an MLB game – a ridiculous 105.1 miles per hour. Other hurlers, most recently Billy Wagner, have come close to matching the speeds tossed by Chapman, but here’s what sets the Reds pitcher out from the crowd: he throws this fast routinely.
He doesn’t just occasionally muster up some extra energy and hit 101 on the radar gun like some flamethrowers in the past have. He’s a safe bet to hit 102+ miles per hour every time he steps on the mound – like yesterday.
The Reds brought Chapman in to keep things tied in the ninth inning of a 1-1 game against the Padres last night. He struck out the side to preserve the tie, but that’s business as usual for the dominant Chapman lately. He’s struck out 20 batters in his last eight innings. What’s ridiculous, though, is how he struck out Diamondbacks Paul Goldschmidt to start the inning.
The slowest pitch Goldschmidt saw in the at bat was 101 mph. With the count at 1-2, Chapman reared back and hit 104 on the radar gun. He struck out Goldschmidt two pitches later on a 103 mph fastball. Later in the inning, Chapman fanned a Diamondback hitter on a 92 mph changeup. Yes, a changeup. In the 90’s.
Watch this inning of work: