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Sunday, April 22, 2018

Aroldis Chapman angers Nick Swisher with 100-mph pitch at head

Nick Swisher was upset with Cincinnati Reds closer Aroldis Chapman for seemingly throwing at him on Monday afternoon in the Reds’ 4-2 win over the Cleveland Indians.

Chapman struck out Asdrubal Cabrera on a 3-2 pitch to begin the ninth. He proceeded to uncork two wild ones in a row against Swisher. The first pitch was so high it sailed over the catcher’s head and went straight to the backstop (video here). It was so far out of the zone it led to Swisher staring out at Chapman, who had his head turned to Swisher as he walked back to the mound.

The next one from Chapman was a 100-mph fastball at Swisher’s head. Swisher ducked out the way, but he was clearly upset. He could be saying “don’t do that” to Chapman several times after the pitch to his head.

Swisher then took a 2-0 100-mph fastball for a called strike. He drove a 2-1 99-mph fastball to left field that was caught for the second out of the inning. Swisher and Chapman exchanged words as Swisher jogged off the field.

Swisher said after the game that he didn’t remember what was said between the two, while Chapman told reporters that he doesn’t speak English, per the Cleveland Plain Dealer’s Paul Hoynes.

Aroldis Chapman Nick Swisher

Aroldis Chapman Nick Swisher

“I know you guys are trying to stir some stuff up here, but the first one I saw go by and I was like, ‘wow, that was pretty quick,’” Swisher said, via the Cincinnati Enquirer’s C. Trent Rosecrans. “And then that second one was a little too close for comfort — 100 mph at someone’s head? Let’s be honest. That’s not exactly the best thing.”

Chapman throwing at Swisher comes a day after Johnny Cueto did the same thing to the Chicago Cubs’ David DeJesus on Sunday, sparking discomfort between the teams, and leading Matt Garza to admonish Cueto for head-hunting.

Reds manager Dusty Baker suggested after the Cubs-Reds exchange that the teams sort out matters by fighting.

“Just put them in a room, let them box and let it be over with,” Baker said via MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon. “I always said this, let it be like hockey, let them fight, someone hits the ground and it’s over with. I’m serious about that. I come from a different school. Guys didn’t talk as much. You just did it.”

Baker similarly disregarded Chapman throwing at Swisher on Monday.

“Is that first time you’ve seen Aroldis throw one to the screen?” Baker said. “Everybody overreacted, except the umpire.”

I really don’t care what Baker says, because what Chapman did was wrong. You don’t fool around with a 100-mph fastball, and you especially don’t throw at an opponent’s head when you throw that hard. You can end a player’s career by hitting him in the head with a 100-mph fastball.

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