Aroldis Chapman holds the record for the fastest recorded pitch in baseball history, having hit 105.1 in September 2010. He didn’t dial it up quite that hot last night against the Diamondbacks, but he was pretty darn impressive all the same.
Pitching on a couple days rest, Chapman came into a 1-1 game in the bottom of the ninth. He threw 20 pitches overall. Fifteen of them were fastballs. According to Brooks Baseball, his fastballs averaged 102.8. None were under 101.Thirteen of those were strikes. His fastest pitch: 104.6 miles per hour to Paul Goldschmidt. Goldschmidt somehow managed to foul it off, but he ended up striking out anyway. As did the other two batters Chapman faced. Watch his gas here.
Just as impressive, I figure, is that his slider and changeup were both in the low 90s. Who the heck throws a 92 m.p.h. changeup?
After the game Chapman was asked about it. He simply said “It was nothing special, I was just pitching.” Indeed you were, dude.
With his team trailing 8-3 to begin the bottom of the ninth inning of Sunday’s game against the Astros, Indians third baseman José Ramirez eventually won a 17-pitch at-bat against closer Ken Giles, ripping a double off of the wall in right field. The Indians would go on to score five runs on seven hits to tie the game against Giles and Hector Rondon. Ramirez almost won the game in his second at-bat of the ninth inning, but first basebamn Yuli Gurriel made a terrific diving catch on a line drive otherwise headed for the right field corner.
Giants first baseman Brandon Belt set a new modern record for the longest at-bat last month, seeing 21 pitches against the Angels’ Jaime Barria. The Astros’ Ricky Gutierrez sfaw 20 pitches from the Indians’ Bartolo Colon on June 26, 1998, which was the previous record. Kevin Bass saw 19 pitches from the Phillies’ Steve Bedrosian in 1988. There have also been five 18-pitch at-bats from Brian Downing, Bip Roberts, Alex Cora, Adam Kennedy, and Marcus Semien.
Sunday’s game wound up going 14 innings. The Astros pulled ahead 9-8 in the top of the 13th on a solo home run from Evan Gattis. However, the Indians’ Yonder Alonso responded with a solo shot of his own in the bottom of the 13th to re-knot the game at 9-9. Greg Allen then lifted a walk-off solo homer in the bottom of the 14th to give the Indians a 10-9 win.
After Sunday’s effort, Ramirez is batting .292/.389/.605 with 15 home runs, 37 RBI, 34 runs scored, and seven stolen bases. According to FanGraphs, his 3.5 Wins Above Replacement ranks third across baseball behind Mike Trout (4.4) and Mookie Betts (4.1). They’re the only players at three wins or above.