Originally posted on The Flagrant Fan  |  Last updated 4/9/12

The game on Sunday between the Cincinnati Reds and Miami Marlins was exciting. The seesaw game went back and forth as the lead changed hands a couple of times. Jay Bruce hit two homers including the game tying shot off of Heath Bell to tie the game in the ninth. The 37 year old Scott Rolen gave the Reds the victory with a well-placed smash down the third base line that Hanley Ramirez had to eat while the winning run scored. The hometown fans in Cincinnati went wild. A trip to MLB.com to view the highlights saw the winning hit, both of Bruce's homers, Brandon Phillips' 1,000th hit, a few of the Marlins' offensive highlights and that was it. There were no Aroldis Chapman highlights. Ho hum. All he did was pitch two innings to luck into the win. Nothing to see there.
From there it was to Yahoo sports for the game recap. Aroldis Chapman got one line. One line. The line: "Left-hander Aroldis Chapman (1-0) pitched two shutout innings of relief." Nothing special there. Move along. We have other things to talk about. But was there anything more important to this victory than the two innings Chapman pitched? Not in this mind, there wasn't. Chapman shut the door spectacularly and allowed the Reds the chance to come back in the game. His innings were pivotal.
Chapman has come a long way since his struggles of a year ago. 2011 was a year of emotional upheaval for the Cuban pitcher we've been told. Apparently that upheaval cost him his ability to pitch in the strike zone. Chapman walked 41 batters in 50 innings of work in 2011. That is a rate of 7.4 walks per nine innings. Mixed in those wild results were records of throwing the ball 105 MPH. Nobody had recorded a pitch going that fast before. But Chapman's 2011 season, much like the Reds' 2011 season was a lost one. He did a short stint in the minors and came back more effective though.
There was talk this spring of moving Chapman into the starting rotation. In fact, four of his five spring appearances during Spring Training were starts. The results were encouraging: 17 innings, a 2.12 ERA with 18 strikeouts and just two walks and a WHIP of 1.12. But those plans were scrapped because the Reds, in their infinite wisdom felt that Bronson Arroyo and Homer Bailey were better fits in the rotation. Well, alrighty then.
And thus, the Reds put Chapman in the bullpen. Sunday marked his first appearance. It was spectacular whether or not anyone noticed. He threw 27 pitches and 21 of them were strikes. His average fastball was 98 MPH with a vertical break of 10.66. 10.66! His fastest pitch was 100.3 MPH. The slacker. Only two of his pitches were more than 100 MPH. Perhaps that doesn't excite anyone. Chapman threw two innings and his line was one hit, no walks and three strikeouts. Would the Reds have had a chance in this game without that? Doubtful.
Just to give you a pictorial idea of how effective Chapman was, here is his game's strikezone plot via Brooks Baseball. Talk about pounding the strike zone! Chapman was a beast on Sunday for the Reds. Too bad nobody noticed.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

NFL overtime will reportedly be reduced from 15 to 10 minutes

Seattle Times writer apologizes to Michael Bennett

Predators fans throw catfish on ice to celebrate Stanley Cup berth

WATCH: Draymond Green tries just a little to hard to sell foul

Eddie George fires up Predators fans before Game 4 vs Ducks

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Viktor Arvidsson had bloody ‘R’ on forehead after hit

Danny Ainge’s son running for congressional seat in Utah

John Wall’s retweet saves fan from taking final exam

WATCH: Cubs pull off two miraculous defensive plays in a row

To raise money for charity, a wrestling fan has Cody Rhodes slam him on thumbtacks

Gregg Popovich on Steve Kerr’s health issues: ‘It’s just a crap situation’

NBA Weekend Awards: Who will take a bite of the Snow White Crystal Apple?

The 'How two award snubs might shake up the NBA' quiz

Preparing for the BIG3: Q&A with BIG3 co-founder Jeff Kwatinetz

Two months in and Nintendo's Switch dominates 2017 video game market

Getaway Day: League leaders falter allowing new teams to surge ahead

Why wait? Our too soon Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals preview

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Best of Yardbarker: Gregg Popovich doesn't mince words

The 'Happy birthday to two of the NBA's all-time antagonists' quiz

The shortstop evolution continues to raise the ceiling

Three Up, Three Down: Astros dominate in every category

Box Score 5/19: Heartbreak in OT

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

NBA Weekend Awards: Who will take a bite of the Snow White Crystal Apple?

The 'How two award snubs might shake up the NBA' quiz

Preparing for the BIG3: Q&A with BIG3 co-founder Jeff Kwatinetz

Two months in and Nintendo's Switch dominates 2017 video game market

Getaway Day: League leaders falter allowing new teams to surge ahead

Why wait? Our too soon Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals preview

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Best of Yardbarker: Gregg Popovich doesn't mince words

The 'Happy birthday to two of the NBA's all-time antagonists' quiz

The shortstop evolution continues to raise the ceiling

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker