The Phillies beat the Reds 3-2 on Sunday in walkoff fashion after Erik Kratz and Freddy Galvis hit solo homers off of Cincinnati flamethrowing closer Aroldis Chapman in the ninth inning. The Cuban lefty's fastball velocity was slightly down (but not enough for people to get worried about an injury) during the 14-pitch outing and Phililes Spanish broadcaster Rickie Ricardo thinks he knows why…Cuban pastries. Seriously. This anecdote from CBS Philly has blown my mind.
“Aroldis Chapman, since he arrived in the U.S. and on a major league team, he has become a friend of mine, and as I do for many Cuban players they always ask me—there is a little Cuban bakery up near where I live in the Cuban strong hold of Union City, New Jersey,” Ricardo told Angelo Cataldi and the 94WIP Morning Show on Monday. “They cook this little Cuban pastry, which is a flaky-crust pasty with cream cheese and guava and it’s baked, and it’s absolutely delicious. Now, if you eat more than two of these you’re clogging up your arteries—you’re a stroke waiting to happen! Well, Chapman asked me on Friday night after the game to stop by the bakery and pick up a box of 50. For example, Livan Hernandez, guys like that—even Chooch, guys on our team, they’ll put 10-15 of these things away with a couple of glasses of milk. It’s equivalent of the Krispy Kreme donuts when they come right out of the oven, it’s that kind of a thing.”
“Could you imagine cream cheese and guava on a baked pastry? Well Chapman asked me for a box of 100, two boxes of 50. When I saw him on Sunday morning before the game, he was in the club house, he had just eaten about 18 of them. He couldn’t breathe! I looked at my partner, I said, ‘he’s ripe for the taking today.”
Moral of the story: don't binge eat before games. The outing on Sunday was the lone appearance for Chapman in the series, but he also blew the save (and eventually got the win) on Thursday in Miami during a game the Reds would later win 5-3. I just have to question the choice by Chapman to indulge himself on pastries (as good as they may be) before a Sunday day game.