Arolids Chapman broke 104 m.p.h. on his fastball last night

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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.

Japanese Baseball to begin June 19

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Japanese League commissioner Atsushi Saito announced that Japan’s professional baseball season will open on June 19. Teams can being practice games on June 2. There will be no fans. Indeed, the league has not yet even begun to seriously discuss a plan for fans to begin attending games, though that may happen eventually.

The season will begin three months after its originally scheduled opening day of March 20. It will be 120 games long. Teams in each six-team league — the Central League and Pacific League — will play 24 games against each league opponent. There will be no interleague play and no all-star game.

The announcement came in the wake of a national state of emergency being lifted for both Tokyo and the island of Hokkaido. The rest of the country emerged from the state of emergency earlier this month. This will allow the Japanese leagues to follow leagues in South Korea and Taiwan which have been playing for several weeks.

In the United States, Major League Baseball is hoping to resume spring training in mid June before launching a shortened regular season in early July. That plan is contingent on the league and the players’ union coming to an agreement on both financial arrangements and safety protocols for a 2020 season. Negotiations on both are ongoing. Major League Baseball will, reportedly, make a formal proposal about player compensation tomorrow.