September 01, 2010
Fans in the Queen City probably wondered if the stories they heard about his fastball (that it can go 105 mph) and his slider (it breaks all the way to China) were too good to be true.
On Tuesday night, Chapman finally showed 'em he's no urban legend.
His stuff is real ... and it's spectacular.
In his major league debut, Chapman threw four pitches that topped 100 mph — maxing at 102.7 — and finished a perfect eighth inning Tuesday night in the Reds' 8-4 victory against the Milwaukee Brewers.
Chapman threw eight pitches overall, seven for strikes. All of them looked good, too.
Via C. Trent Rosecrans, who filed this report for CBS Sports:
"That thing ... that pitch ... that's a whole different ballgame," Hanigan said. "His breaking ball is what people should be talking about. His slider is absolutely ridiculous. He's got to be able to throw it for a strike and he's got to get into counts where we can call it, so getting ahead is big, but if he can throw that breaking ball for a strike... good luck. It's a hammer. I saw it in Triple-A, it's 88-to-93, it's moving about a foot and a half. That's not something that anyone wants to hit, I don't care how good you are."
So, Chapman throws 100-plus mph, but all that does it set you up. He'll really butter your bread with his breaking pitch. It's just not fair.
You might say Chapman whooped the fans at Great American Ball Park (announced attendance 19,218) into a frenzy. It's OK to go to Reds games, folks. They're in first place and you might even see Chapman pitch.
Thanks to another loss by the St. Louis Cardinals, the Reds grew their lead in the NL Central to a season-high six games. But the rest of the league should consider itself lucky; the Reds are only planning to use Chapman for one or two innings at a time.
Then again, a little taste might be the way to use him: In Class AAA, his strikeout/walk ratio was 1.9-to-1 as a starter and his contact rate (somehow) was not otherworldly.
Still, so far, the $30 million investment general manager Walt Jocketty made in the Cuban emigré appears sound.
Cordero, no soft-tosser himself, said he'd never seen 102 on a scoreboard before. "I got that," he said, "in my Ferrari."
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