Last night, Cincinnati Reds closer Aroldis Chapman was drilled in the face by a comeback line drive off the bat of Salvador Perez. The pitch was clocked at 99 miles per hour, meaning the ball was going something like 120 when it struck Chapman, leaving him with multiple facial fractures.
|He had a bad time.|
Here’s video of the event. It’s not exactly fun to watch, but it’s also not too gory.
What you’ll be hearing for the next several days is all about pitcher safety, whether it’s those ridiculous padded caps or facemasks or whatever. What you won’t hear today is anything regarding mechanics.
By that, I mean if you watch this Sport Science video, they stop analyzing Chapman’s mechanics after he releases the ball.
This is a huge problem in baseball right now. People are so obsessed with throwing 95 and more that they forget about putting themselves in a vulnerable position. For Chapman and others, this means facing the dugout and not being able to defend himself when his glove is on the outfield side of his body.
Contrast that with Greg Maddux’s mechanics, which practically turned him into an infielder after his delivery and allowed him to win like a million Gold Gloves.
And you can watch Tom Glavine do the same (and watch Bobby Cox get thrown out).
I’m not saying triple-digit velocity is bad, but these guys were pitchers. They thrived off location and knowing batters’ tendencies. They could barely break glass with a pitch but combined to win 660 games and are both being inducted into the Hall of Fame this year.
Hopefully, baseball can get over its fascination with everyone throwing hard and wake up before someone gets killed.