Trent Oeltjen receives a rude welcoming from Aroldis Chapman
The first pitch got Trent Oeltjen’s attention.
It was high. Really high.
As in over the catcher’s mitt and over the umpire’s head.
On the mound was Aroldis Chapman, the Cincinnati Reds’ reliever who threw the fastest recorded pitch in baseball history last season at 105 mph.
Chapman’s next three pitches were strikes. Oeltjen, who is in camp on a minor league contract, struck out looking to start the seventh inning of the Dodgers’ 3-1 defeat to the Reds at Goodyear Ballpark on Thursday night.
Chapman struck out Jamie Hoffmann, then forced Trayvon Robinson to ground out to end the inning.
Oeltjen laughed as he recalled the first pitch.
“If it was at my face, I wouldn’t have had time to move,” Oeltjen said. “It woke me up. He sent a message he was throwing hard.”
Told that it also probably woke up the home-plate umpire Tony Randazzo, Oeltjen responded, “Everybody. I think the whole stadium woke up.”
Oeltjen said of Randazzo, “He wouldn’t have gotten up from that.”
Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly smiled and shook his head when asked about Chapman.
“Jeez, huh?” Mattingly said. “He was Randy Johnson-ish. It gets there quick, doesn’t it?”
-- Dylan Hernandez