Albertin Chapman closed out Tuesday night's American League Wild Card Game in a way only he can.Baseball's pre-eminent master of velocity was on top of his game while recording the final three outs of the Yankees' 8-4 victory over the Twins in the Bronx, a win that propelled them to
Albertin Chapman closed out Tuesday night's American League Wild Card Game in a way only he can.
Baseball's pre-eminent master of velocity was on top of his game while recording the final three outs of the Yankees' 8-4 victory over the Twins in the Bronx, a win that propelled them to the AL Division Series presented by Doosan, where they will face the Indians.
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On a night when starter Luis Severino recorded just one out and four Yanks relievers combined for one run allowed and 13 strikeouts in 8 2/3 innings, Chapman authored the most electric outing. His victory-sealing pitch, which zipped past the bat of Jorge Polanco, was clocked at a sizzling 103.7 mph, according to Statcast™. That made it the fastest third strike of 2017, passing Chapman's own record (103.6 mph) and giving him the top 15 pitches on the list.
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It also was the fastest third strike in the postseason since pitch tracking began in 2008, again breaking Chapman's own record. The southpaw threw the only faster postseason pitch in that span -- regardless of result -- for the Reds in '10 (104.2 mph).
Chapman did allow a two-out single to Joe Mauer on a 101.3-mph heater, tied for the sixth-fastest pitch resulting in a base hit in 2017.
However, all three of Chapman's outs came via a strikeout, as he got Robbie Grossman to lead off the frame (102.8 mph), followed by James Dozier (103.0). His three punchouts ended with his three fastest pitches of the night, and it was the first time in 2017 that anyone recorded multiple strikeouts on pitches that fast in the same game.
Chapman threw 19 four-seam fastballs out of 20 total pitches, with 17 of those cracking 100 mph. The pitch averaged 101.2, well above his season average of 100.0. Chapman's average four-seamer spin rate of 2,570 rpm also exceeded his season average (2,494), and it was his second highest of 2017 in an outing with at least 10 four-seamers thrown.
Andrew Simon is a research analyst for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AndrewSimonMLB.