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Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Ricardo: Chapman ate 18 pastries

ESPN.com news services

Aroldis Chapman saved the Reds' win over the Mets on Monday night, one day after an uncharacteristic blown save against the Philadelphia Phillies. According to a Spanish-language broadcaster for the Phillies, the closer's sweet tooth may have helped to derail him Sunday.

Phillies broadcaster Rickie Ricardo told Sports Radio 94 WIP in Philadelphia on Monday morning that he delivered 100 Cuban pastries (two boxes of 50) to Chapman this weekend and when he saw the reliever in the clubhouse Sunday morning, Chapman had eaten about 18 of them.

"He couldn't breathe!" Ricardo said. "I looked at my partner, I said, 'He's ripe for the taking today.'"

Chapman gave up back-to-back home runs to Freddy Galvis and Erik Kratz as the Phillies rallied for a stunning 3-2 victory. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it was the first time Chapman has allowed back-to-back homers in his career. He had allowed just seven homers in 157 career appearances entering Sunday's game.

Chapman walked pinch-hitter Delmon Young on four pitches to start the ninth. Pitcher Cliff Lee came in as a pinch runner and was caught trying to steal second base. It was the only out Chapman recorded in his second straight blown save after converting his first eight chances.

He bounced back with his ninth save Monday in the Reds' 4-3 win over the Mets, striking out two of the batters he faced.

Ricardo said he has become friends with Chapman as he has with many Cuban major leaguers and delivered the pastries from a Cuban bakery near his home in Union City, N.J., after Chapman asked him to do so following Friday night's game.

Ricardo said the pastry has a "flaky-crust ... with cream cheese and guava and it's baked, and it's absolutely delicious."

"Now, if you eat more than two of these you're clogging up your arteries -- you're a stroke waiting to happen," he joked in the interview, saying the pastries are the "equivalent of the Krispy Kreme donuts when they come right out of the oven, it's that kind of a thing."

Asked about Ricardo's story, Reds manager Dusty Baker dismissed the broadcaster's claim that the pastries were to blame for his closer's meltdown.

"That has nothing to do with what he did," Baker said, according to MLB.com. "Look at him -- does he look fat? I don't pay any attention to that. ... Sometimes that locker room is too open for everybody, which makes it too open for alibis and excuses if something happens."

Information from ESPN Stats & Information was used in this report.