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Arroyo, Chapman take musical act to Fan Cave

NEW YORK -- Bronson Arroyo has not missed a start since coming to the Reds from Boston before the 2006 season, and during that time he leads the National League in starts (214) and innings pitched (1,368 1/3). Part of that is due to a routine between starts that is unwavering and set in stone, but the right-hander said recording a music video with Aroldis Chapman on Saturday at the MLB Fan Cave was easy to accommodate the morning after beating the Mets.

"The day after is probably the most relaxed day we have," Arroyo said. "You go to the park and, yes, there is work to be done, but I can afford to come out of my box a little bit on that day. If it was two days before I pitch, or the day before I pitch, I probably wouldn't want to come, because you come here and you want to interact and have a good time.

"It burns energy, and all of those things are vital going to the ballpark and having that routine -- your lifting, your meals you eat and all those things. But today, the day after I pitched, I had a good outing against the Mets, come here, have a great time, and I've got four days to get ready for my next one."

Major League Baseball fans will see the reason for the visit soon enough, when the video appears in coming days at The two pitchers donned a pair of sweatshirts from Majestic Athletic and sat on the Fan Cave stage and performed "Reds Hooded Sweatshirt" -- completing it in a half-dozen takes. It figures to be shared on the same kind of level as Arroyo making his starts and Chapman blowing gas by hitters.

"That was definitely a different experience," Arroyo said with a laugh, sitting in the Fan Cave throne. "I hadn't been on the microphone or had Aroldis with the maracas anytime this season.

"I hope (fans) are familiar with Adam Sandler and 'SNL' and his funny skits. They're definitely in for a treat. You've got me playing guitar, where we're kind of ripping off an old Adam Sandler song called 'Red Hooded Sweatshirt,' which they changed to 'Reds Hooded Sweatshirt.' It's just a funny little story with a verse and a chorus. We've got Aroldis singing backup on a little part, and it should be fun."

Chapman, speaking through interpreter "Monster99" -- his barber and a 2012 Fan Cave final-50 applicant -- said of the visit: "I really liked it when they said you're going to come here with Bronson and sing a song. I really loved that. ... It was nice to be here in that moment with him, because he sings and he plays really good guitar."

Arroyo's affinity for music is well-known around baseball, going back to his days with the Red Sox. His 2008 album "Covering the Bases" is just what the title suggests, all covers. He said he is trying to build a catalog of his own songwriting that eventually will become something new and special. He gave a glimpse of that in a bonus song after making the video with Chapman.

"Basically I've just been playing for myself," Arroyo said. "This year I'm really focused on trying to write some music. I've never done that a lot in my career. I've always just played other people's music. I've had a hard time writing songs that I really would love to listen to. So I'm trying to find my way with some musicians. I'm writing with Eliot Sloan from Blessid Union of Souls in Cincinnati.

"I'm just trying to hash out some songs, and even if they're terrible, just kind of put them away, and see if, you never know, you might enjoy a few of them and some day make another record. But right now, baseball eats up most of my time, and when I get to play, I do, and I definitely sit in my hotel room and play every day."

At the rate the 36-27 Reds are going now, the season might go well into October. They have won four in a row and their lead in the National League Central is the same number. Since April 19, their 32-19 record is tied with the Yankees as best in baseball.

"We're starting to roll a little bit," Arroyo said. "We got off to a semi-rough start this season. We started 4-8, we've been rolling ever since, but it's slowly putting more runs on the board. Our pitching staff has been pretty solid most of the year, our defense has been outstanding, (but) we just hadn't put quite enough runs on the board at times to win ball games. That's starting to come around.

"The offense is starting to click a little bit, and if that continues, I think that's why you're seeing us build a separation of our over-.500 record and also in our division."

Chapman, who closed out Arroyo's win the night before, striking out the final two batters, was pretty humble about the present run.

"I feel pretty good," he said. "Some games I don't feel good, but (overall) I feel really good so far."

Chapman has recorded at least one strikeout in all 28 appearances and 20 times has produced at least two strikeouts. According to Elias, the Major League record for consecutive relief outings with at least one strikeout is 39 by Bruce Sutter for the Cubs in 1977.

When an opposing batter does something positive, it is big news. Take the loss to Pittsburgh on June 7. In his 25th appearance, Mr. Untouchable gave up his first earned run of 2012.

"I knew anytime someone was going to score," he said at the Cave. "That's normal in baseball. I'm not perfect. Sooner or later something was going to happen."

Would he like to be in Kansas City next month, perhaps closing out a National League victory and helping his team secure what could be a World Series home-field advantage?

"I don't decide that," Chapman said, "but I really hope to go."

Like Sandler once sang on Saturday Night Live, it could be "a perfect fit."

Cincinnati Reds, Bronson Arroyo, Aroldis Chapman