5 amazing facts about Rafael Devers' game-tying home run against Aroldis Chapman
It was the top of the ninth inning when Rafael Devers stepped up to the plate to face Aroldis Chapman in Boston's eventual 3-2 victory over the Yankees on Sunday. Boston was down by one run, but Devers connected with one of Chapman's fastballs, sending it over the fence to tie the ballgame.
While this was a rather extraordinary event, there are a few amazing facts about this home run that make it extra special for Devers:
Aroldis Chapman is typically dominant against lefties
Prior to Devers' home run on Sunday night, Chapman had given up just one home run to a lefty hitter -- Luke Scott in June 2011.
102.8 miles per hour
We know Chapman throws heat, and he stuck with that theme on his offering to Devers. This 102.8-mph pitch was the fastest pitch hit for a home run in the pitch-tracking era. (Since 2008). Kurt Suzuki hit a 102.4-mph pitch last season off, who else, Chapman.
A first for Devers
This was also the first time Devers has faced Chapman and the first home run he has hit off a lefty in the Majors. He certainly has a bright future, and if these are the types of moments he's remembered for, it could be a brag-worthy career. He's also only 20 years old, have we mentioned that yet?
He was born in 1996
Feel old? No? Let me help you.
The 20-year-old, born in 1996, is the youngest player on the Red Sox roster at the moment, and he's the youngest player to ever (!) hit a home run off Chapman. Plus, this is the first home run the four-time All-Star has given up at Yankee Stadium.
The year Devers was born, the Spice Girls were celebrating their hit "Wannabe" going No.1 on the UK Singles Chart … and the hit movie "Twister" was in theaters.
The last time …
The last time Devers hit a home run off a left-handed pitcher was July 15 in Triple-A off Neal Cotts. This was also the same day Pablo Sandoval was DFA'd by the Red Sox. Panda would eventually sign with the Giants. Oh, and he hit a home run on Sunday as well.
It's safe to say that more highlights like this will make Rafael Devers a household name in Boston for years to come.