At some point, watching Aroldis Chapman blow triple-digit heat past opposing hitters will get old. It hasn’t yet.
The Reds’ flame-throwing closer got into a pickle in the ninth inning in an attempt to preserve a 5-2 lead, as the Marlins loaded the bases with no outs. Chapman, however, blew a 102 MPH fastball past Donovan Solano for a strikeout, a 101 MPH fastball past Dee Gordon for another strikeout, then fanned Derek Dietrich with a 103 MPH heater to end the contest.
Chapman has gotten all three outs on strikeouts in each of his last three appearances. He’s 15-for-16 getting the save thus far with a 2.01 ERA and a 56/19 K/BB ratio in 31 1/3 innings.
Update (12:58 AM ET): Per Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle, Samardzija has been diagnosed with a strained pectoral muscle. He’ll be shut down for a week. That’s good news for the Giants, considering the alternatives.
Giants starter Jeff Samardzija will undergo an MRI on his ailing right shoulder, according to NBC Sports Bay Area. The right-hander struggled in a minor league game on Wednesday, surrendering a pair of home runs and hitting a batter. Overall this spring, Samardzija has given up 15 runs (13 earned) on 17 hits (six homers) and seven walks with seven strikeouts in 11 innings.
This may mean Samardzija won’t be ready for the start of the regular season. Derek Holland would likely replace Samardzija in the rotation. Holland had been competing for the No. 5 spot in the Giants’ rotation.
Samardzija led the National League in losses last season with 15, also posting a 4.42 ERA with a 205/32 K/BB ratio in a league-high 207 2/3 innings. Since becoming a starter, Samardzija has been able to avoid injury, making 32 or 33 starts in each of the last five seasons.