Aroldis Chapman uncharacteristically blew a save against the Philadelphia Phillies on Sunday by allowing two home runs in the ninth inning. The Cuban fireballer walked Delmon Young to start the inning, was gifted an out when Cliff Lee, who was pinch-running for Young, made a mistake on the bases, and then gave up back-to-back home runs to Erik Kratz and Freddy Galvis to lose the game 3-2.
Chapman is normally automatic as a closer, so seeing him allow two home runs in the same game was unusual considering he’d only allowed seven in his entire career prior to Sunday. But our friend Spike Eskin at CBS Philly shared a theory about what may have slowed down the Cuban Missile on Sunday.
Phillies Spanish language broadcaster Rickie Ricardo told Angelo Cataldi and the 94WIP Morning Show on Monday that Chapman may have been undone by an extra helping (or two, or three) of a special pastry he ate before the game.
Ricardo explained that there is a special Cuban bakery nearby where he lives in Union City, N.J., and that Cuban ballplayers will often ask him to bring them a special bakery item.
“They cook this little Cuban pastry, which is a flaky-crust pasty with cream cheese and guava and it’s baked, and it’s absolutely delicious,” Ricardo told WIP. “Now, if you eat more than two of these you’re clogging up your arteries—you’re a stroke waiting to happen!
“Well, Chapman asked me on Friday night after the game to stop by the bakery and pick up a box of 50. For example, Livan Hernandez, guys like that—even Chooch, guys on our team, they’ll put 10-15 of these things away with a couple of glasses of milk. It’s equivalent of the Krispy Kreme donuts when they come right out of the oven, it’s that kind of a thing.”
Ricardo told WIP that Chapman asked him for 100 of the pastelitos de guayaba — two boxes of 50 — and that the Reds closer was about five fist-fulls deep into the box before Sunday’s game.
“When I saw him on Sunday morning before the game, he was in the club house, he had just eaten about 18 of them. He couldn’t breathe! I looked at my partner, I said, ‘he’s ripe for the taking today.’”
Sure enough, Ricardo was right. Chapman has now blown back-to-back saves, giving him 10 blown saves for his career. Eskin says Chapman was mostly around 95 mph during the appearance. So, was he slowed by the pastries? If so, it wouldn’t be the first time someone was ruined by the food they ate before a game. You make the call.