September 2nd, 2010 15:15 EST
Aroldis Chapman Throws Some Heat: Hits the Triple Digits
In this day and age in Major League baseball we never really hear of a relief pitcher being in the spot light for anything other than coming into the game during the last of the eight or bottom of the ninth inning to save the game for their team that has a one run lead and three outs to go. These types of relief pitchers this day and age in baseball really get the job done with their junk which is their curve ball, slider, sometimes knuckle ball but really they don`t have the overpowering fast ball or it seems that way.
As everyone knows I am very partial to the 1970s era of baseball when we did hear about hard throwing relief pitchers that could throw so hard the crowd could hear a sizzle as the ball went sixty feet from the pitcher`s mound to the pop! of the catcher`s glove behind home plate. It was expected back then to have a relief pitcher be able to mow down any hitter at the plate with not just his junk but his overpowering fastball and most relief pitchers had that overpowering fastball.
Let`s take Goose Rich " Gossage who not only looked intimidating with his FU Man Chu style mustache but was intimidating because of how hard he threw. I watched him save many games in the late innings and watched him go up against many hitters that had the power with one swing to change the course of the game only to look like Little Leaguers when hitting against him trying to play in the big leagues as Gossage struck out most hitters he faced.
We all know as fans about Nolan Ryan and Tom Seaver has starting pitchers and how every time they pitched most fans would take a perch up in the top tier of the ball park and hang the letter K " sing up every time either of these two pitchers struck out a batter from the opposing team. The letter K " when hung up stands for a strikeout by the pitcher currently on the mound. Most of the time when these two pitched there would be fifteen or more K " signs hanging in the stadium by the end of the game.
Back then was the decade of the pitcher. The fans have not seen pitchers since those days and basically shunned it off as just those were the good ol` days when there were pitchers that threw as hard as a bullet exploding out of a barrel of a gun that most hitters could not even touch when going up against them. " Since it has been some time since we have seen a pitcher like that the fans forgot about those types of pitchers that could throw hard and just accepted the fact that today in the game they love there was once upon a time blazing fast balls that when they impacted the catcher`s glove the sound was so loud it could be heard in the next county and just went on loving the game of baseball and accepting the fact that there may never be more hard throwing pitchers like Nolan Ryan, Tom Seaver, or Rich Goosage ever again.
That is, until Tuesday night when Aroldis Chapman a Cuban ball player that defected from Cuba to play ball in the United States for the Cincinnati Reds threw so hard he was clocked at one point throwing his fast ball at 102 miles per hour.
The Reds decided to try to add a little insurance to their pitching staff in their drive towards the playoffs and called up Chapman from their minor league system to give their bull pen that added support. Chapman has been clocked throwing has high as 105 miles per hour while playing in the minor leagues, so the Reds knew he may turn out to be the asset they need.
Chapman came in during the eighth inning to help seal the win against the Milwaukee Brewers. Chapman`s first pitch was clocked at 98 miles per hour and then his third pitch was clocked at 102 miles per hour. He struck out the first batter he faced and made ease on the second two batters as those two hit easy ground balls to the Reds infield for two easy outs.
The Reds look like they are in the pennant race this year something they have not been in since the 1995 season, so if Chapman can come in during the late innings when the Reds need him to for the rest of the regular season and if he can turn on his heat and keep his fastball in the triple digit range then maybe the Cincinnati Reds can reflect back to their glorious 1975 season and take on their once popular nickname The Big Red Machine " but for that to happen not only will their offense have to rack up more hits and more long balls and their pitching staff with the added help of Chapman will have to consistently throw the blazing hard ball to keep hitters from having batting practice against them.
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