NEW YORK (AP) — Adam Jones swung right through the second straight pitch from Aroldis Chapman that topped 100 mph, then walked back to the American League dugout with a smile on his face.
"That was fun. First pitch curveball? C'mon," Jones said Tuesday night after the AL won the All-Star game 3-0. "He throws a hundred miles an hour. He threw me two 101 mph and he threw me a first-pitch curveball. Respect."
Facing Matt Harvey's 98 mph fastball in a 10-pitch at-bat — another strikeout — in the second inning must've seen downright fair compared to looking silly against Chapman.
"Everybody that toed the rubber looked good," Jones said.
Dustin Pedroia shook his head when he struck out looking against 21-year-old Jose Fernandez on a 96 mph fastball. Baseball's batting leader Miguel Cabrera couldn't handle the three 98 mph pitches he saw from Fernandez, popping out into foul territory.
Home run leader Chris Davis was overmatched, too — by Harvey, a fellow first-time All-Star. Davis popped up to center field after swinging at a 98 mph four-seamer and then letting a 99 mph fastball zip by for a strike.
"The guy's got electric stuff," Davis said.
In all, the pitchers made the Midsummer Classic a showcase for the high-heat hurlers. Eighteen pitchers combined for 15 strikeouts. The NL managed only three hits, the AL nine.
Closer Joe Nathan used to be considered one of the hard-throwing guys. Now he's not so sure.
"You see the arms on both sides, guys throwing 100 mph," said Nathan, who reached 94 in the ninth. "I'm below the hitting speed now."
TRADE BAIT: With the trade deadline approaching at the end of the month, several top contenders could be in the market for a reliable closer. No wonder Glen Perkins may be in high demand.