New York Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman has a well-earned reputation of being one of the hardest-throwing pitchers in baseball.
He routinely finds himself on the end-of-year list of fastest pitches thrown every season he’s been healthy.
By virtue of Chapman being a Yankee, it was clear that he was bringing the heavy artillery in a key game against the bitter rival Boston Red Sox.
The Tuesday night game was a historic one for the storied rivals. It was the first time since 2002 the two teams had squared off against each other while having the two best records in MLB.
In an intense 3-2 win for the Yankees, Chapman was his usual cannon-armed self en route to his eighth save in nine attempts this season. There were some bruised egos and bodies along the way, however.
Chapman clocked a pitch at an almost unfathomable 103.3 mph, obliterating the previous mark of 102 mph for fastest pitch of the year.
And while he can clearly throw the ball with insane velocity, sometimes there’s going to be an accuracy trade-off.
Red Sox outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. was able to turn and take the brunt of the blow to his ribs and not an elbow or wrist. There wasn’t much solace to be found otherwise.
In fact, this is the third time that Bradley has been hit by a Chapman pitch. By his own words, it doesn’t sound particularly fun.
“I don’t want him to try it again,” Bradley told MassLive in 2014 after being plunked with a 100 mph fastball. “But it doesn’t hurt that bad right now. Holler at me after the plane ride.”
“I was telling some of the guys, ‘Good thing I got my morning lift in, because it might have went through me,’” he said. “That ball probably still has some bone marrow juice on it. It might have touched bone a little bit.”
This season, in particular, Chapman may have some stiff competition for throwing MLB’s fastest pitch.
Just last week, 21-year-old St. Louis Cardinals reliever Jordan Hicks set the two previous marks for the fastest pitch thrown.
In the same game against the Chicago White Sox, Hicks threw a pair of fireballs that clocked in at 101.9 and 102 mph.
Clearly, Chapman couldn’t let this stand, and he took back his title with a vengeance.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.