CHICAGO — Aroldis Chapman threw 13 pitches in his World Series debut on Wednesday in Cleveland. The fastest was clocked at 102.5 miles per hour by Major League Baseball’s Statcast radar gun. The batter, Coco Crisp of the Indians, put it in play. Nothing much came of it, just a routine ground ball to second base. But it underscored the fact that even Chapman, the Chicago Cubs’ closer and the hardest-throwing pitcher in the majors, cannot get hitters to swing and miss on command. “This is the big leagues,” Chapman said in Spanish. “These are the best in the world. Everyone is prepared, and everyone can hit.” The Cubs have gone 108 years since winning the World Series, and the Indians have gone 68. One team will soon break a so-called curse, but no player has yet broken the game. Some nearly did in the years before steroid testing, when home run records fell, but no batter has come close to hitting .500 in a full season. And no pitcher has thrown hard enough to be purely unhittable.
The Chicago Cubs finally broke a 108-year curse and brought home their first World Series title since 1908, beating the Cleveland Indians 8–7 in 10 innings to win the series in seven games. World Series MVP Ben Zobrist drove in the go-ahead run with an RBI double in the 10th inning, and Miguel Montero singled home a run to make it 8–6. Cleveland cut it to a one-run deficit on a Rajai Davis RBI single with two outs, but reliever Mike Montgomery got Michael Martínez to ground out to third, ending the epic series.
Masahiros Tanaka's splitter is probably one of the nastiest pitches in the MLB. A splitter is A split-finger fastball or splitter is a pitch in baseball derived from the forkball. It is named after the technique of putting the index and middle finger on different sides of the ball, or "splitting" them. He's not an over powering pitcher but he has the stuff to be a dominate pitcher.
Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez was killed in a boating accident early Sunday morning in Florida, the Marlins confirmed. Fernandez, the 24-year-old right-hander whose vibrant personality endeared himself to fans as much as his dominant fastball, was a Cuban-born pitcher who grew up in Tampa and was drafted 11th overall by the Marlins in 2011. He overcame Tommy John surgery in 2014 and returned to dominant form this season, winning 16 games, striking out 253 batters and earning an All-Star Game berth.
Fernandez was killed as a result of the impact of the crash, and did not drown. The boat carrying Fernandez and two others was traveling at a significant speed when it struck rocks. The three victims were between 24 and 27 years old. He said alcohol is not believed to be a factor and no illicit drugs were found at the scene. Fernandez on Tuesday posted a photo on Instagram of his girlfriend, Carla Mendoza, who was pregnant with their child. Known for his ebullient personality which could occasionally rankle opponents and a pitch repertoire that could stagger opponents with both his fastball and a devastating curve, Fernandez was the backbone of the Marlins pitching staff, posting a 2.86 earned-run average. He struck out at least 11 batters in nine of his 29 starts this season.
In the final start of his career, Wednesday night against the Washington Nationals, Fernandez shut out the Washington Nationals over eight innings, striking out 12 in a 1-0 victory. Marlins infielder Martin Prado said Fernandez told teammates he believed it was the greatest start of his career. Fernandez posted a career record of 38-17, a 2.58 ERA and a 1.05 WHIP in 471 1/3 innings (76 starts). He struck out 589 batters. "He was one of our great young stars who made a dramatic impact on and off the field since his debut in 2013. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, the Miami Marlins organization and all of the people he touched in his life."
The Marlins vs Braves game will not be made up, but club president David Samson said the team will play Monday night, as scheduled, against the New York Mets at Marlins Park. "We're not robots. We're humans," Prado said Sunday. "He made an impact on everyone, in different ways. "I understand we have to play games. But there's a lot of pain." Jose’s friend and teammate, second baseman Dee Gordon, was caught in a tender moment as he paid his respects. Dee stands rocking back and forth with his hands clasped behind his head in front of the pitching mound, looking overwhelmed in grief. The mound is emblazoned with Jose’s number, 16, and the team left a lone glove there — a symbol of the Jose’s greatness. Dee kneels down, and just stares at the glove solemnly. It’s a devastating sight. The empty stadium is haunting, not a soul in sight, with Jose’s number 16 blaring from the megatron.