Carlos Ruiz's double off Aroldis Chapman was on historic heat

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Carlos Ruiz doubled on a 103.5-mph fastball from Aroldis Chapman last night and Todd Zolecki of MLB.com notes that it’s the fastest pitch any player has actually gotten a hit on since the Pitch-f/x system began tracking velocity in 2008.
Carlos Gonzalez’s single off Chapman on September 6 had been the record-holder at 102.0 miles per hour, and the next seven spots on the list all belong to pitches thrown by Joel Zumaya.
Zolecki also passes along an interesting tidbit from Society for American Baseball Research member Trent McCotter, who broke down the 19 pitches above 103.0 mph since 2008 as follows:
– 12 balls
– 3 foul strikes
– 2 called strikes
– 1 swinging strike
– 1 put in play
In other words, Ruiz is the only guy to even put a 103-or-higher pitch in play. The lesson? As always, Chooch is the man.

Zach Britton receives stem cell injection, likely done for the season

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Orioles closer Zach Britton is likely done for the remainder of the 2017 season after receiving a stem cell injection in his left knee, Peter Schmuck and Jon Meoli of the Baltimore Sun report. Britton has been battling knee problems for most of the season.

The Orioles are still technically in the AL Wild Card race, entering play Thursday 5.5 games behind the Twins for the second Wild Card slot. With only nine games remaining, however, the 73-80 Orioles are likely being realistic about their chances and not taking any unnecessary risks with Britton.

Britton, 29, put up a 2.89 ERA with 15 saves and a 29/18 K/BB ratio in 37 1/3 innings this season. He will be eligible for arbitration for the fourth and final time this offseason.

Dodgers can clinch NL West on Friday

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The Dodgers staved off a four-game series sweep at the hands of the Phillies, winning 5-4 on Thursday afternoon at Citizens Bank Park. The win reduced their magic number in the NL West to one, meaning that a win against the Giants at home or a Diamondbacks loss to the Marlins on Friday will result in clinching the division.

Of course, the Dodgers winning and the Diamondbacks losing hasn’t exactly been a sure thing lately. The D-Backs rattled off a 13-game winning streak from August 24 through September 6. The Dodgers lost 11 games in a row from September 2-11 and were on a four-game slide before Thursday’s win.

The Dodgers will send Rich Hill to the mound to start opposite Jeff Samardzija. The Diamondbacks have Zack Greinke opposing Adam Conley.