The ever-rising tides of pitch velocity in Major League Baseball have an unfortunate byproduct: getting hit by the balls hurts a heck of a lot more. Just ask Jackie Bradley Jr., who can’t seem to get out of the way of errant pitches from MLB velocity king Aroldis Chapman.
Bradley Jr. was plunked by Chapman for the third time of his career on Tuesday during the Yankees’ 3-2 win over the Red Sox, but this wasn’t just any pitch. At 103.3 mph Chapman had thrown the hardest pitch — not just HBP, but any pitch — recorded by Statcast all season, according to Mike Petriello of MLB.com.
Jackie Bradley just got plunked by 103.3 MPH from Chapman, the hardest thrown pitch of 2018. That.. can't be fun.
— Mike Petriello (@mike_petriello) May 9, 2018
Bradley Jr. remains the only player in MLB to get hit by Chapman multiple times, and now it’s happened three times in just seven plate appearances. The last time it happened, Bradley Jr. had a truly visceral take on what the HBP had done to his body, per masslive.com:
“I was telling some of the guys, ‘good thing I got my morning lift in, because it might have went through me,'” Bradley said. “That ball probably still has some bone marrow juice on it. It might have touched bone a little bit.”
Bradley Jr. can at least rest knowing he didn’t have the league’s most painful baseball-related experience in the last week. That award would go to Yadier Molina, who is out for month after taking a foul-tipped 101.5 mph ball to the groin from Chapman velocity challenger Jordan Hicks.
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