If I had to make a list of players who were likely to turn a 98 mph fastball from Aroldis Chapman into a 423-foot, walk-off home run, Chris Denorfia would be like 347th on it. But that’s exactly what happened Monday night.
Chapman stepped to the mound in the bottom of the ninth inning with his Cincinnati Reds leading the San Diego Padres 1-0. After walking Yonder Alonso, he leaned in to face Denorfia, a journeyman outfielder who had come on to pinch hit. On the first pitch, Chapman wound up and threw a 98 mph bullet right down the middle of the plate and Denorfia absolutely crushed it to dead center to give the Padres a 2-1 win.
As Denorfia rounded the bases, Chapman stood on the mound and stared as if he was in complete disbelief at what had just transpired. Truthfully, most of the people watching or in attendance probably shared in that sentiment.
It was just the fifth home run Chapman has surrendered all season, and was his fourth blown save on the campaign in 28 chances. His ERA also jumped from 2.59 to 3.02 as a result.
Enjoy the video below: