By Spike Eskin
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – When the Phillies went into the bottom of the ninth inning down 2-1, the prospects for a comeback seemed small with Aroldis Chapman on the mound for the Reds. When Cliff Lee got picked off of first base while pinch running for Delmon Young, a comeback went from what seemed unlikely to what seemed like impossible. Back-to-back home runs from Erik Kratz and Freddy Galvis gave the Phillies a 3-2 win, and most were left asking “how did that happen?”
One man who might have some insight is Phillies Spanish-language broadcaster Rickie Ricardo, who brought Chapman a gift before the game.
“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.”
Chapman’s fastball, often clocked at over 100 mph, hovered around 95 mph for most of the ninth inning, hitting 98 and 99 occasionally.