CINCINNATI: The 100 mph pitch that missed Nick Swisher’s head by inches was still a hot topic Tuesday.
Asked if he thought there would be retaliation against the Cincinnati Reds, Indians manager Terry Francona said: “I didn’t really think about it a whole lot then and I didn’t really think about it a lot today. When something like that happens, when a guy throws that hard, it certainly gives you pause. You could get killed.”
Reds closer Aroldis Chapman, who threw the pitch Monday in the ninth inning, has no history with Swisher and had he hit him, he would have brought the tying run to the plate with one out.
The first pitch to Swisher was far over the batter’s head, and Chapman has a reputation for extreme wildness when he tries to light up the radar gun rather than command his fastball at, say, 96 mph.
Tribe radio voice Tom Hamilton even became part of the story because of remarks he made about Chapman. Cincinnati talk show veteran Bill Cunningham (of WLW-700) berated him and milked the story for more than hour.
Francona was asked if stirring the pot on a radio show might make the situation more volatile.
“Unless he [Cunningham] gets in the batter’s box, it’s not going to make a big difference,” Francona said.
He even had WTAM afternoon drive talker Mike Trivisonno as a guest and the two traded insults, all in the name of entertainment. Coincidentally, Cunningham caught the first ceremonial pitch before the game Tuesday night.
TRIVIA PURSUIT — Despite batting .211 in the past four games, the Tribe ranks second in the majors in slugging percentage (.449) and extra-base hits (180).
FARM FACTS — Lonnie Chisenhall, Matt LaPorta, Jeremy Hermida and Matt Carson homered in Columbus’ 13-11 win over Louisville in Class AAA. Hermida, LaPorta and Cord Phelps each had three RBI. Carlos Carrasco gave up three runs and four hits in four innings. ... Bo Greenwell homered, tripled, doubled and drove in five runs, as Carolina beat Wilmington 13-8 in Class A. Jacob Lee gave up two earned runs (four total) and four five hits in five innings. ... Leo Castillo homered and singled in Lake County’s 5-3 loss to West Michigan in Class A.
— Sheldon Ocker