NEW YORK (AP) — The 105.1 mph pitch from Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman to Baltimore’s J.J. Hardy matched the fastest since Major League Baseball began tracking speeds in 2008.
Chapman also threw a 105.1 mph fastball for Cincinnati against San Diego on Sept. 24, 2010, MLB said Tuesday.
During Monday night’s game, Chapman’s fastest heater was taken for a ball by Hardy. The New York lefty threw five pitches that ranged from 104.0 to 105.1 mph.
He has thrown a big league-high 217 pitches of 100 mph or more, and 46.1 percent of his 471 pitches have reached 100 mph.
“Every time he throws a pitch, I look up to see how hard it was,” catcher Brian McCann said after Monday’s 2-1 win over Baltimore. “It’s incredible what he can do.”
McCann has plenty of experience catching hard-throwing relievers — he saw triple digits plenty when he and closer Craig Kimbrel were with the Atlanta Braves.
“You just hope you catch it right,” McCann said. “If you catch it right, you’re fine. If you don’t, you’re in trouble.”
Chapman said he felt normal Monday and only looked up at the scoreboard to check the velocity after the crowd cheered his 105.1 mph pitch.
Manager Joe Girardi joked after the game that he ducks down a step in the dugout when Chapman is pitching in fear of foul balls from hitters trying to catch up.
“His arm is so quick,” Girardi said. “I can’t really say I’ve ever seen an arm that quick. It’s pretty impressive.”
MLB originally installed a PITCH f/x system to track pitches and implemented a Statcast system last year that uses Doppler radar.
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