Chapman laments pitch to snap home save streak
CINCINNATI -- It's not often when Reds closer Aroldis Chapman blows a save and it's even less expected when he's pitching at home. It's so rare in fact that until Tuesday night, Chapman's last blown save at Great American Ball Park came when the Astros were still in the National League.
During a 3-1 loss in 13 innings to the Royals, Chapman blew a slim 1-0 lead in the ninth when Ben Zobrist led off with a game-tying home run.
"All I can say is I had a bad day. It was not my day today," Chapman said via translator Tomas Vera. "All I can tell you was it was one pitch, I made that pitch and it stayed in the zone. You saw what happened. He hit it out. One mistake that I committed."
The pitch to Zobrist was a 2-1 slider that was 83 mph.
"It was not a quick slider like I usually throw," Chapman said.
Chapman's 56-game streak in converting save chances at home came to an end. His last blown save here was on Sept. 7, 2012, vs. Houston. It was only his second blown save in 26 opportunities this season, ending a streak of 15 consecutive saves since June 3 at Philadelphia.
"The thing about Zobrist is, he has a really good understanding of the strike zone," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "He was going to get a good pitch to hit. He showed the patience to not get himself in a hole. Chappy can just wear you out with high fastballs in or sliders down and in. There's a lot of places to go, but he controlled the at-bat by jumping out 2-0 and got what looked like an elevated [slider] that he hit out of the ballpark."
Zobrist's homer was the second allowed this season by Chapman, who also gave up next batter Lorenzo Cain's single and two stolen bases. Cain was initially ruled safe at home after a rundown on a fielder's choice play, but only to have the call overturned on a challenge by Price.
"When Chappy is out there, we always anticipate that he's going to shut the door," Price said. "It's not going to happen 100 percent of the time, but pretty darn close."