Aroldis Chapman is a bad man. He throws roughly a million miles per hour and eats Cuban pastries with reckless abandon. He is on pace to strike out nearly half the people he’s faced this season.
Chapman also knows he’s a badass. He drives a yellow Lamborghini with the license plate “105 MPH,” and has a tattoo of a flaming baseball that reads “105.1 mph” on his pitching arm, commemorating the time he nearly broke a radar gun.
Mark Ellis is a 36-year-old veteran infielder who has never hit 20 home runs or recorded 100 RBIs and only hit over .300 once in his 11-year career. But last night Ellis faced Chapman in the 9th inning and did something no one in baseball has done in five years.
Ellis took a 102 mph fastball and drove it into right field for a single. Now, no one is going to jump out of their seat for an opposite field single in the 9th inning while losing by 3 runs — but it might be one of the rarest highlights you’ll see all year. That’s the fastest pitch any batter has gotten a hit off in a half-decade. For today, baseball’s biggest badass is Mark Ellis.