If it makes you feel any better, though, Chapman clearly isn’t satisfied with himself either.
2020 was a strange year for everyone, but Chapman must’ve felt particularly dissatisfied with the season, one in which he intended to perfect a new splitter to help continue to change his pace, but never got to deploy it routinely.
It’s clear that Chapman dedicated his offseason to perfecting the pitch, and anyone who’s watched it dance, knuckle and move this spring is well aware how that process went.
Just because Aaron Boone watches the devastating lefty work daily doesn’t mean he’s any more used to the new pitch than an endless line of opposing hitters.
Chapman caught Pirates youngster Troy Stokes Jr. completely off guard by the 90 MPH offering on Saturday afternoon, and luckily Boone was mic’d up at the time and said the first thing that came to mind.
The skipper’s reaction to Chapman uncorking his new weapon was (chef’s kiss) perfection.
Yankees manager Aaron Boone was overwhelmed by Aroldis Chapman’s splitter.
If only we could mic up the manager every time Chapman entered the game.
Would it result in some anguish broadcast for all the world to see? Yes, on occasion. Are we glad there was no microphone around for Game 5 of last year’s ALDS? Yes, obviously.
But it would all be worth it for pitches like this.
Chapman’s splitter was just one of many insane offerings that Yankees pitchers uncorked on Saturday.
Darren O’Day threw a riding fastball so dirty it induced a swing-and-a-miss strike three from catcher Tony Wolters even though the pitch hit him flush in the…well, the groin area.
Certainly a double gut-punch there, if we’ve ever seen one.
So much of what we’ve seen from the Yankees this spring has been so perfect that we just want to bubble wrap it all and get it to Opening Day.
Chapman’s disgusting splitter certainly falls into that category — though the man himself is banned for Opening Day, so we’ll have to wait for Game 2.