Walker on Chapman’s inside pitch
The Reds and Pirates have exchanged some purpose pitches over the last couple of seasons, including one during that last road trip that put Brandon Phillips out for four games with a bruised left forearm.
In the ninth innoing during Monday’s 4-1 Reds win over Pittsburgh, closer Aroldis Chapman came up and in with a 100 mph fastball. It whizzed under the chin of Walker, who bent backwards somewhat like Keanu Reeves from “The Matrix” to get out of the way. Walker struck out on the next pitch.
Courtesy of Jeremy Warnemuende, Walker talked with reporters about the brushback.
“You try to give players the benefit of the doubt, and you try to be as professional as you can be. But given the history between us and Cincinnati, it makes you wonder a bit,” Walker said.
Walker continued: “If that’s the route that we’re going to go down of giving in to, ‘If you hit our guy, we’re going to hit yours,’ then that’s the way it’s going to be. But by no means, balls should not be anywhere near anybody’s head. Like I said, I was hit by [Mat] Latos last time at our place. I was fine with it because he hit me right in the butt. We moved on. Whether last night was part of any of that, I don’t know. It’s tough to get me in particular fired about things, but when you see a 100 mph fastball come pretty close to your face, you’ve got to wonder a little bit.”
(Latos hit Walker in retaliation for Phillips being knocked out by a Tony Watson fastball on June 1.)
This isn’t the first time Chapman’s high heat has bothered a hitter. The Indians weren’t pleased late last month when he buzzed Nick Swisher with a 100 mph fastball near the head.
In the fourth inning of Monday’s game, Reds starter Mike Leake plunked Andrew McCutchen in the back with a 0-2 pitch. Jeremy said that McCutchen took no issue with the pitch and realized it was not intentional.