There comes a time when the life and death atmosphere of baseball takes a backseat to actual life and death. We are fanatics of the greatest sport on the earth and are connected to its ability to intertwine us with the athletes and personalities that make the game go round.
Upon hearing the news of what has happened with Aroldis Chapman, a majority of the fan base collectively felt a lump relocate to their throat. As much as the players are criticized and critiqued for their inefficiencies, we hang on their every pitch and support them with an undying loyalty.
In the most recent update, Chapman was “diagnosed with fractures above left eye and nose after being hit by line drive,” according to ESPN. Conflicting reports had Chapman everywhere from a loss of consciousness to being completely fine. In an isolated incident such as this one, facts are difficult to come by. Those in attendance are the ones to trust, as they have access to the clubhouse and are eyewitnesses to the incidents at hand.
The game was cancelled after the incident in the bottom of the sixth with the Royals leading 6-3. Of course, there are much more serious matters at hand, but we’ll cover what occurred up to Chapman’s injury.
Offensive Side of the Diamond:
To lead off the game, Billy Hamilton took a 0-2 slider deep into right field for his first home run of the spring. As high of importance as his on-base percentage is, it can be easy to overlook his slight power. Last season at Louisville, he had six home runs. Digging deeper into analytics, Great American Ball Park is a launching pad, and even Hamilton’s slight frame should be able to find himself a few round trippers on the season.
Another run was tacked on after Skip Schumaker’s double and Todd Frazier’s single forced runners on the corners with no men out. After Jay Bruce struck out and Frazier was mowed down on a hit and run, Schumaker scampered home to put the Reds ahead 2-0 early on in backing of Alfredo Simon.
Finishing the day with multi-hit games were Todd Frazier and much maligned left fielder, Ryan Ludwick. Going hitless, was Neftali Soto whose average plummeted all the way down .400. With Jack Hannahan scuffling and potentially being listed on the 15-day disabled list at the beginning of the season, Soto may find himself wearing red and white, opposed to purple come the onset of April.
Reds’ Toeing the Rubber:
In an effort to continue to stretch him out, Alfredo Simon took to the hill for five full innings Wednesday night. Having a rather rough outing, Simon allowed five runs (three unearned), eight hits and three walks in his action.
Relieving him was Aroldis Chapman. His outing was of zero significance in comparison to what occurred when Salvador Perez lined a smash back up the middle, colliding with his face. As violent as it was to see umpire Brad Myers fall to the grass after being hit below the belt, it was downright unwatchable to see Chapman’s face impacted by the ball. With the extreme velocity that the ball exhibits on the way to the plate, it’s not difficult to imagine it coming back with an additional 10-15 MPH on its way out.
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The decision to call the game after the incident was without question, the right one. For now, the Reds are scheduled to meet the Texas Rangers once again, as Johnny Cueto takes the hill in opposition of Robbie Ross. Tune in to MLB.com at 4:05 for the audio should the game commence.