New York Yankees RHP Aroldis Chapman struck out two batters and gave up a run in a 6-3 win over the Kansas City Royals in his team debut on Monday.
Chapman, returning from a 30-game suspension stemming from a domestic incident, immediately made his presence known. His first four pitches were clocked at 100, 100, 101 and 101 mph.
"I think we all take a look at the board to see what it is," manager Joe Girardi said of Chapman's fastball. "We have some guys in the back end of that bullpen that throw really, really hard. To see that 101, it is not something you see every day."
Added reliever Dellin Betances: "I had a bet going on in the bullpen. I thought he would reach 102 today. So I told him I was disappointed that he just hit 101.''
The Yankees acquired Chapman from the Cincinnati Reds for four minor leaguers in the offseason in spite of knowing he could face discipline from the MLB. He received a loud ovation as he jogged to the mound for the first time in Pinstripes and said the fans' reaction was "incredible."
"I felt good out there,'' Chapman said through a translator. "For it being my first outing in a while, I think it was pretty good."
Chapman struck out the first two batters before allowing a double and run-scoring single to consecutive hitters in a non-save situation.
With Chapman, Andrew Miller and Betances slide into the role of set-up men, and Miller has no problem relinquishing that role. After all, the three of them led the majors in K/9 last season.
"I felt like the crowd was electrifying," Betances said. "It's a show. Everybody, as soon as he starts throwing the ball in the bullpen, the whole crowd gets up and takes out their phone. Everybody's on the top step. It was definitely fun to watch."