The 22-year-old Cincinnati Reds left-hander made do by making history Friday night, throwing the fastest pitch recorded in a major league game, a 105-mph fastball.
Ardolis Chapman’s 25 pitches on Friday night (each registering 100 mph or faster, including his record-breaking 105 mph heater) must have been a blur to Padres batters. After defecting during a tournament in the Netherlands in July 2009, Chapman signed a six-year, $30.25 million deal with the Reds in January. It was widely predicted that he would sign a much more lucrative deal with a deep-pocket team such as the Yankees or Red Sox, but some teams backed off because of concerns about his maturity. “We’ve got to make bold moves sometimes,” Reds GM Walt Jocketty said at the time.
Now the signing looks genius. And maybe by the time the playoffs begin, Baker will go to Chapman earlier, even with the bases loaded. “When a guy is throwing that hard, you feel sort of helpless,” Gwynn said. “We’re just glad we had enough runs to win before he came in the game.”