The month of June was not kind to Aroldis Chapman, the Cincinnati Reds flame throwing closer. He went through a period on and off the field in which he was totally out of control. Whether it was driving over 100 mph on a revoked license or entertaining a married “girlfriend” who claimed to police that she was robbed in Chapman’s hotel in Pittsburgh, or on the mound losing 4 games. He had an ERA of 6.97 and the opposition was hitting at a .225 average and just couldn’t find the strike zone with his slider. This followed the months of April and May in which he was, well let’s be honest, unhittable.
In April, Aroldis Chapman 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA and while striking out 21.
In May, Chapman continued his dominance as he moved to closer and posted a 2-0 record, striking out 23 and accounting for 3 saves. Then came June and it all fell apart.
Enter July. For Aroldis Chapman, July has made April and May look pedestrian. Honestly, he has been amazing. Statistically, Chapman has collected 7 saves, has an ERA of 0.00 and, get this, has struck out 25 of the last 31 outs made. 25! He is consistently throwing in the very high 90s. Chapman is averaging 97 mph per pitch. That includes his low-90s slider.
In total, Aroldis Chapman has 16 saves out of 20 opportunities, 84 strikeouts in 44.2 innings worth of work, 1.65 ERA (having allowed 8 earned runs all season) and opponents are betting .120 against him. This coming from a guy that was brought in, and wants, to be a starting pitcher. If he keeps this up, and there is no reason to expect anything different, Aroldis Chapman may not find himself starting for the Cincinnati Reds any time soon this season – if at all. Chapman is their closer for the 2012 season and is the most feared pitcher in the league again. No doubt about it.