(Photo: Brian Baker/CNATI.com)
We would like to apologize in
advance to anyone who has to face Aroldis Chapman during the remainder of
the 2010 season. Clocked at 103 mph, Chapman made his major league debut on
throwing only eight pitches as he retired the Milwaukee Brewers in order
during the eighth inning of the Reds'
8-4 victory. Cincinnati's win, coupled with a 3-0 St. Louis loss to the
Astros, placed them a season-high seven games ahead of the Cardinals in the
NL Central standings.
pitch in the playoffs for the Reds would be great for me,"
Aroldis Chapman's first major league pitch was a 98 mph called strike to
Brewer's catcher Jonathan Lucroy. In front of just 19,219 fans at Great
American Ballpark, Chapman was just heating up. Seven of Chapman's eight
pitches were strikes as he hit 100-103 mph with his fastball, 86 mph with
his cutter, and 87 mph with his slider. Chapman's slider, not his fastball,
was the pitch that caught Reds' catcher Ryan Hanigan's attention.
"That thing Ö that pitch Ö thatís a whole different ballgame,"
Hanigan said. "His breaking ball is what people should be talking about.
His slider is absolutely ridiculous. Heís got to be able to throw it for a
strike and heís got to get into counts where we can call it, so getting
ahead is big, but if he can throw that breaking ball for a strikeÖ good
luck. Itís a hammer. I saw it in Triple-A, itís 88-to-93, itís moving about
a foot and a half. Thatís not something that anyone wants to hit, I donít
care how good you are."
Already performing in high gear, the Cincinnati Reds will flourish with the
arrival of Aroldis Chapman. The Reds' secret weapon has been unleashed.
Francisco Cordero had never seen 102 mph on the scoreboard before.
"I've never seen anything like it. I've got that," Cordero said,
"in my Ferrari."