Hoping to snag a tough victory on the road against the Washington Nationals on Monday night, the Cincinnati Reds sent closer Aroldis Chapman to the mound with a one run lead in the ninth inning.
Things looked promising with the bottom of Washington’s lineup due to face the flame-thrower.
— ctrent (@ctrent) May 20, 2014
But such as these things go in baseball, Chapman was not able to hold the lead. He blew the save, surrendering the tying tun on a sacrifice fly as the game was sent to extra innings. What’s more is the fact that Chapman’s outing could have been much worse had it not been for some good fortune on balls in play:
Blown save for Chapman. Three well-hit balls for Nats. Fortunate for Chapman that two of them were caught.
— Matthew Pouliot (@matthewpouliot) May 20, 2014
Chapman’s velocity has not been an issue in his return from a frightening injury this spring; from his first appearance against the Colorado Rockies last weekend he has been running it up there at 100 MPH. While that shows signs that Chapman was ready to step right into the closer’s role, there was still bound to be some bumps in the road.
One such bump came on Monday in Chapman’s fourth appearance of the season.