CHICAGO -- The Mariners had two runners on and two outs in the eighth inning against the Cubs when manager Joe Maddon called upon new closer Aroldis Chapman for his second four-out save. Seattle's Leonys Martin knew what to expect."When a fastball is up at 95, it's tough to hit,"
CHICAGO -- The Mariners had two runners on and two outs in the eighth inning against the Cubs when manager Joe Maddon called upon new closer Aroldis Chapman for his second four-out save. Seattle's Leonys Martin knew what to expect.
"When a fastball is up at 95, it's tough to hit," Martin said. "Imagine 105."
Martin didn't see 105 mph, but he did smack a two-run double off a 100-mph fastball from Chapman to give the Mariners a 2-1 lead and hand the closer only his second blown save of the season in the Cubs' 4-1 loss on Saturday afternoon.
"Of course, every hitter comes and tries to do their job," Chapman said. "It was my time to lose this time."
"That part of the batting order just yells [Chapman's] name," Maddon said. "If he's available and we don't utilize him and lose the game, I'd be upset with myself. Getting away with the traditional methods, it's hard to not [call on him], unless he's totally unavailable for four outs and is only available for three."
Martin knew he'd be seeing unparalleled heat.
"I know he throws 105 [mph] -- nobody throws that in this game today," Martin said. "I knew it was going to be a tough at-bat for me, tying run on third base, so I was ready for a fastball. After the first swing, I stepped out and thought a little bit. 'Don't try to do too much.' I just tried to swing at strikes."
Said Mariners manager Scott Servais: "We had the right guy up there. We had the Cuban against the Cuban. Actually, Leonys has put good swings on velocity all year. He knows that's what he was going to get."
Chapman recorded his first four-out save on Thursday against the White Sox in his first save situation with the Cubs and second appearance.
"It's not my favorite thing to do, but that's my job," Chapman said through teammate and interpreter Pedro Strop. "It's the manager's decision. I'm ready to do anything."
Chicago starter Jake Arrieta was cruising through seven innings, but he walked the first two batters he faced in the eighth and was pulled in favor of Héctor Rondón, who got two outs. Chapman then came in to face Martin.
"It really comes down to the two walks," Maddon said. "We almost escaped it. Give Martin credit -- he squared up a 100-mph fastball and put it in the gap. That just tells you how good he is."
Said Arrieta: "Everyone knows it's not an easy task to get a knock off a guy like Chapman. They fought through and did a good job and beat us today."
Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast.