Aroldis Chapman threw a ball. But boy was it a fastball.
The flame-throwing fireman threw a 105.1 mile-per-hour fastball to Baltimore Orioles infielder J.J. Hardy. It crossed the batter’s box low and inside to make it a 2-2 count. Hardy’s reflexes kicked in and he quickly moved his knee before the orb spinning toward it made it chalk dust.
— MLB (@MLB) July 19, 2016
Hardy eventually flied out. With two outs in the bottom of the ninth, down 2-1, and just witnessing the closer nearly break the radar gun and his teammate’s knee, reserve infielder Ryan Flaherty mouthed this to Chapman.
This might be my favorite gif ever. pic.twitter.com/Jdd7qAFPIj
— Ranting Oriole Bird (@RantingOriole) July 19, 2016
Flaherty grounded out to end the game after his unrepeatable sound byte. Chapman hit 105 on the radar gun again and shattered Flaherty’s bat. The Cuban closer collected his 19th save and the New York Yankees picked up a game on the AL East-leading O’s.
In 2010, Chapman rocketed a 105.1 mile-per-hour pitch to Andrew McCutchen, to set the record of fastest recorded pitch (Unreliable readings for Nolan Ryan, Bob Feller, and other past pitchers put them in Chapman’s neighborhood). Last season, Chapman threw 77 of the fastest 77 pitches in baseball.