"GODZILLA" LEAKE AND AROLDIS CHAPMAN BOTH MADE THEIR PROFESSIONAL DEBUTS ON
CUBS INCAPABLE OF TAKING
MIKE "GODZILLA" LEAKE AND
AROLDIS CHAPMAN BOTH MADE THEIR PROFESSIONAL DEBUTS ON SUNDAY
Mike "Godzilla" Leake and Aroldis "The Defector" Chapman made their
professional debuts on Sunday. Leake faced
Tom Gorzelanny and the Chicago Cubs at Great American Ballpark while Chapman
started against the Mud Hens at Fifth Third Field in Toledo. Both young
pitchers made their debuts in winning games; one showing poise and the other
Leake's line was not handsome, but he pitched well enough to keep
the Reds in the game and endured, then conquered, several hasty situations.
It all started in the first inning when Leake loaded the bases by walking
Ryan Theriot, allowing a hit to Kosuke Fukudome, then walking Derrek Lee.
With no outs and the bases full of Cubs in just his first inning of major
league work, Leake showed us all the composure and tranquility everyone had
been verbalizing. Leake retired Aramis Ramirez on a pop-out, struck out
Marlon Byrd, then jammed a disgruntled Alfonso Soriano who flew out as Leake
escaped the inning with no damage.
first inning? A bad situation to put myself in," Leake said. "I found a way
to get out of it pretty quick. I was like, 'What am I doing here? I gotta
take a breath and realize I have to make pitches,' and get myself out of it
slowly but surely."
After a smooth second, Leake began the third inning rigidly. He once again
collected himself after allowing back-to-back singles to retire Derrek Lee,
Ramirez, and Fontenot without allowing the Cubs to get on the board.
Leake allowed his only run in the fifth inning after a leadoff walk to Ryan
Theriot, a sacrifice bunt, then a single off the bat of Derrek Lee. At the
end of the day Mike "Godzilla" Leake allowed just one run on four hits. He
struck out five while walking an unheard of seven batters during his 6.23
innings of work. Leake received a no-decision for the day, but his team
walked away with their third win of the season and many high hopes for the
Mike Leake also became the first Reds pitcher to record two hits during his
debut since Benny Frey did it in 1929. During his three years at Arizona
State University, Leake batted .299 with 20 RBI in 97 at-bats. The Reds beat
the Cubs 3-1.
"You have to get your first one out of the way to get your
second one," Leake said. "So we'll just move on from here."
Although Aroldis "The Defector" Chapman's professional debut may not have
been as significant as Leake's, it was an exemplary one for the left-handed
Cuban. With the Louisville Bats third baseman Chris Valaika curiously
watching the radar gun while his teammate was on the mound, Chapman
consistently hit the upper nineties with his fastball. Chapman concluded his
first inning of work with a 101mph fastball, which was foul tipped into the
catcher's mitt, striking out a feeble Mud Hen.
With such deviant speed (Chapman was reportedly clocked at 102mph by one
radar gun), the bird brained Mud Hens may have made Chapman's inconsistent
outing appear more exceptional. Mud Hen's manager Larry Parish criticized
"Against us he walked one. (Pitching against) big-leaguers, today he walks
eight. Big leaguers wouldn't have swung at balls over their heads or at
balls a foot outside. He would throw a breaking ball when guys were cheating
to catch up to a fastball, and they would swing at balls that weren't close
to the plate."
Chapman did not qualify for a win in his
first professional baseball game, but in his 4.2 innings of work he
struck out nine and allowed only one earned run on five hits (Four of which
were infield singles). Chapman threw 85 pitches (55 strikes) helping the
Bats beat the Mud Hens 2-1.
"I really felt good today, there were some things that didn't go the way I
wanted, but that's how games go," Chapman said. "There were little things
that happened, but they will be better next time."
The considerable and promising starts by Leake and Chapman continue to
promote optimism in Cincinnati. Both pitchers were acquired by the Reds
since last June. Along with youngsters Homer Bailey, Johnny Cueto, Edinson
Volquez, veteran Aaron Harang, and Bronson Arroyo, the Reds could promptly
have one the best starting rotations in the majors.
"What was gunpowder? Trivial. What was electricity? Meaningless. The atomic
bomb is the Second Coming in wrath."
The Reds will start their first road trip of the season on Monday. Johnny
Cueto will face Ricky Nolasco and the Florida Marlins (4-2) at 7:10pm.
Reds' pitching future shines from top to bottom
Marlins won't be day at beach
new Freel for 2010
MLB TRADE RUMORS
Rocket is back!
Reds 3, Cubs 1