Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Chapman's debut dazzles
The Cincinnati Reds' Aroldis Chapman made his major-league debut and struck out the first batter he faced. He retired the side in order in the eighth inning, throwing eight pitches (seven for strikes) and topping out at 102 MPH on the radar gun.
Chapman’s role with the Reds in the final five weeks of the season bares comparison to when the Los Angeles Angels called up Francisco Rodriguez late in 2002.
After beginning the season as a starting pitcher in Triple-A, Chapman moved to the bullpen and was dominant in 26 relief appearances. Opponents hit just .156 off him while he registered a WHIP under one. He had a K/BB ratio greater than four and a K per 9 IP of nearly 15. He also improved his groundout/air out ratio from 0.83 to 1.47 when he moved from starter to reliever.
Go back eight years when Rodriguez made his debut. Prior to being called up in 2002, “K-Rod” made 27 Triple-A relief appearances with very similar numbers to Chapman. Rodriguez also made 23 Double-A relief appearances, while Chapman made 13 starts before moving to the bullpen.
In five regular-season games late in 2002, Rodriguez pitched 5⅔ scoreless innings, allowing three hits, two walks and struck out 13. He then went on to pitch 18⅔ innings in 11 postseason games, allowing 4 ER on 10 hits and struck out 28 batters.
Other Notes From The Night:
• Edwin Jackson has now struck out at least 10 batters in three straight starts, matching the longest such streak in Chicago White Sox history. Floyd Bannister did it in 1985, and Ed Walsh did it in 1910.
• The New York Yankees' Phil Hughes won his 16th game of the season. In the divisional era (1969), only Andy Pettitte (21-6 in 1996) won more games in a season at age 24 or younger for the Yankees. (Steve Kline also won 16 games in 1972.)
• In his eighth year in the majors, the Yankees' Mark Teixeira has now hit at least 30 home runs in seven consecutive seasons. Hank Aaron had 15 30-HR seasons, the most in MLB history. The most consecutive 30-HR seasons by Aaron? That would also be seven, from 1957-63.
• Derek Jeter now has one hit in his last 25 at-bats. He hit .239 in August, his worst batting average for a calendar month since April 2004.
• The Texas Rangers have won each of C.J. Wilson's last five starts. Cliff Lee has started immediately following Wilson in that span, and the Rangers have lost all five of those games.
• With the Toronto Blue Jays winning on Tuesday, it means all five AL East teams had winning records in August. The last time there was a division of five-or-more teams all finishing above .500 in one month was the National League Central in June 1996.
• The New York Mets have allowed a club record 10 grand slams this season, which also is the most in MLB.
From the Elias Sports Bureau: The Chicago Cubs have now allowed at least 14 runs in seven games this season. That's the most games allowing 14+ runs in a single season by a Cubs team since the 1897 team had 12 such games.
• The St. Louis Cardinals have been shut out in back-to-back games for the second time this season. Prior to 2010, that had not happened to the Cardinals since 1995.