Facing New York Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman is no easy task. The reliever averages 100 mph with his fastball, can hit 105 mph and has a devastating slider and changeup.
Given all those factors, it’s no surprise MLB hitters would try to pump themselves up in preparation for an at-bat against Chapman. Baltimore Orioles infielder Ryan Flaherty attempted to do just that recently, but may have been a little too excited to amp himself up.
I’m no lip-reading expert, but Ryan Flaherty appears to ask Aroldis Chapman to ‘come on mow the floor curds.’ pic.twitter.com/j6I35apPLj
— Paul Espinosa Jr. (@BettorCallPaul) July 19, 2016
Lip readers ought to have fun with that. We don’t claim to be experts, but we’ll at least give you the first part of Flaherty’s statement. Flaherty appears to be saying, “come on, _____.” When you figure out the rest, you’ll realize why we stopped there.
The best part here is that we have no idea why Flaherty said it. Was it to pump himself up for the at-bat? Was it to issue a challenge to Chapman? Was it meant as an insult? No clue. Flaherty didn’t go out of his way to make sure Chapman heard it, so we’re leaning toward this being a strange motivational technique.
Did it work? It did not.
Flaherty softly grounded out to second on the fourth pitch of the at-bat to end the game. He represented the winning run, and could have tied things up if he drove Nolan Reimold in from first. Instead, the Orioles lost the contest 2-1.
Flaherty made contact with three of the four fastballs he saw, and let the other sail by for a called strike. Making contact against Chapman can be seen as a minor victory, though Flaherty was probably hoping for a better result.
If this proves anything, it’s that Flaherty will have to try harder next time. Going off on a Bryan Price-type tirade might be exactly the right amount of motivation needed to get a hit against Chapman.
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