Louisville Slugger Field, Louisville, KY
(Game 1 of 4)
Here it is, fellow Baseball fans...my first 'live' Aroldis Chapman game. The last time I 'saw' him pitch was his disastrous performance for Cuba versus Japan during the WBC. In the flesh, I can report not very much improvement. My friends Bill and Don were at this game with me, they tried to lead the crowd with a rousing rendition of "Wild Thing" but didn't get much response.
GWN 0 5 1
LOU 6 10 0
Chapman was somewhat impressive, but my vote for 'player of the game' went to the catcher Wilkin Castillo. You have to have arms that move 5 feet away from the strike zone, in any direction, at 100mph if your pitcher is sending bullets at that speed in those same random directions, and Castillo was marvelous at this. Forget the holiest of Catcher defensive skills (throwing from the knees), Castillo can grab just about anything from the crouch. First Braves batter to face Chapman was last year's Braves rookie phenom Jordan Schafer; you could see his knees knocking from the grandstand. I suppose there is no fear in the Minor Leagues greater than facing Chapman.
But, let's be fair about Aroldis - this really was a good outing for him.
5 IP, 3H, no Runs, 1 BB and 7 K (only one of them called) and 2 WP. Time will tell if he's going to 'get the call' for the Reds, as many speculate, but this guy is no Stephen Strasburg and if I was a Reds fan I would be very, very afraid of that phone ringing for him this year, no matter how well the season is going (or NOT going) for them at any point in time.
Combined, the Bats pitching staff held the Braves scoreless. The Bats scored all but 2 of their runs in the first inning against Jo Jo Reyes. The start of the game was delayed until 7:46 due to lingering light rain.
I charged the Braves' Mitch Jones with a throwing error on Balentien's extended single but the Official Scorer did not.
Official Scorecard, and Bat Chat