Frozen Peas (Chapman vs. Nova)


Drew Sutton in right field

Moosic, PA (April 28, 2010) - It was another bitterly cold night at PNC Field.  Rain was predicted, but never materialized.  Unfortunately, it felt even colder than the previous night.  The wind blew right through you.

Because of the weather, there weren't a lot of fans there.  But the ones who were there were there to see Aroldis Chapman.  Usually, the fans at PNC don't have a clue who the other team's players are.  Not this time.  Everyone was talking about Chapman.  The Reds fans were out in force.  I never saw so many Cincinnati jerseys in Scranton.  The radar gun doesn't work half the time at PNC Field, but they made sure it was working for this game.

Chris Valaika during warmups.


Enter Chapman.


Balentien's balaclava: Wladimir Balentien was wearing a ski-mask type thing.  No word on whether he's ever been spotted at the University of Maryland.


Wilkin Castillo just wore a watch cap.


Todd Frazier, New Jersey boy that he is, didn't need a winter hat.


He spent a lot of time before the game signing autographs by the dugout, and posing for photos.  He's sort of a local boy, New Jersey being a neighboring state.

The SWB pitcher was Ivan Nova.


The Yanks lost him to the Rule 5 draft, got him back, then put him on the roster so no one could take him again.


When Chapman took the mound, the crowd's eyes turned eagerly to the pitch speed readout.  He threw a pitch...and the crowd burst out laughing.  The readout said "46 mph."  The radar gun had picked up the catcher throwing the ball back to the mound instead.



Chapman took a couple of innings to warm up, but we did see the gun read 100 and 101 mph on a couple of pitches.  One of the scouts who brought his own radar gun got a 103 mph reading.  (He says scouts' guns routinely read about 3 mph faster than the stadium guns.)

Like many lefties, Chapman has a great pickoff move.


The second batter he faced, Colin Curtis, singled, but was erased almost immediately when he was caught flat-footed by Chapman's pickoff move.  The crowd laughed in surprise, and there was a collective "Whoooooah!"; no one saw it coming.  After that, the Yankee runners  stayed pretty close to the bag.

Zack Cozart singles in the second inning.


It wasn't a bunt, but it might as well have been.  He swung hard, but the ball ended up dribbling into no man's land between the mound and 3B.  The pitcher couldn't make the play, and Cozart ended up on 1B without a throw.

The Bats scored four runs via smallball in the second inning, but that was all they would score.

Juan Francisco went 1 for 4.


After making the third out, Drew Sutton waits for Cozart to bring him his hat and glove.


At first, the crowd was wondering what the Reds were thinking, putting a pitcher like Chapman in the minors.


They were particularly struck by the smoothness of his delivery.  It just looked effortless, like he wasn't even trying.


But the last couple of innings, Chapman's velocity fell off dramatically.  A lot of the fans ended up saying things like, "He's not that good." (The Yankees, however, were impressed.)


 Zack Cozart catches a fly ball.


Jesus Montero and Todd Frazier



Frazier hit it hard, but Greg Golson was there.


Frazier ended up 0 for 2 with a sac fly and a hit by pitch.


Chris Heisey had a good night.


Heisey doubles.


Heisey, now with the big club, was 2 for 5 with a double.


Enerio Del Rosario took over for Chapman.


Chapman's line for the night: 6 IP, 5 hits, 3 runs, 2 ER, 2 walks, 4 K's, 2 HR, 1.29 ERA.

Despite the two homers, Chapman left with a one-point lead.  In the end, though, the night would belong to the other lefty Cuban.  Juan Miranda hit a two-run homer off Del Rosario in the 8th, which put the Yankees ahead for good.

Eduardo Nunez and Juan Miranda celebrate Miranda's home run.


Wilkin Castillo catches a fly ball in foul territory.


The last out of the game.  Danny Dorn runs out his fly out.


It's caught.  Dorn returns to the dugout while the SWB Yanks celebrate behind him.


Final score: Louisville 4, SWB 5.

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