Nick Swisher isn’t the biggest fan of Aroldis Chapman. Then again, can you blame him after the Cincinnati Reds closer threw above Swisher’s head Monday?

It happened in the top of the ninth inning with one out and no men on base, and the Reds were leading the Cleveland Indians 4-2.

After Chapman’s first pitch was up and in on Swisher, the second pitch sailed above the batter’s head, causing Swisher to mouth the words, “don’t do that,” according to Jeremy Warnemuende of

Chapman’s fastball was clocked at over 100 mph, and after the pitch, Chapman stared down Swisher to set the stage for the rest of the rivalry series.

In his postgame interview, Swisher remarked, “I know you guys are trying to stir some stuff up here. The first one I saw go by, and I thought, ‘Wow, that’s pretty quick.’ And then that second one was a little too close for comfort. Let’s be honest, 100 mph at somebody’s head? That’s not exactly the best thing.”

There’s no history between between the pair, as it was only Swisher’s second career at-bat against Chapman.

Why aim a 100 mph fastball over the head of a player? There are plenty of other spots on the body with a lot more cushion if you want to send a message.

And if it wasn’t intentional, why did Chapman stare down Swisher after throwing the pitch?

Cincinnati manager Dusty Baker had his own take to the situation.

Is that the first time you’ve seen Aroldis throw one on the screen? I’m serious. I just think that maybe everybody overreacted except the umpire [Paul Schrieber]. The umpire was really pretty cool about handling the situation. That’s not something that we’d like to be known for or he’d like to be known for either.

Cleveland slugger Jason Giambi agreed with Baker’s statement:

I’ve talked to Chapman plenty of times, and he’s a great kid. But we’re going to protect our guys, too, especially Nick, who’s a big leader on this ballclub, just to let him know, ‘Hey, we’ve got your back.’ But I don’t think there’s anything to it.

While those sentiments may be true, the next three games should be rather interesting, to say the least.

Will bad blood erupt between the Reds and Indians at some point in the next three days?


Umpire Warnings

After Monday’s escapades, there’s a likelihood that both dugouts will be issued warnings prior to each game.

While back-and-forth banter is all in fun, when it comes to throwing at someone in this series, there could be something more that develops. MLB doesn’t want to have another brawl on its hands.

Also, keep in mind Tuesday’s game is at Cincinnati, which means the pitchers will be batting. Zach McAllister will be taking the hill for Cleveland, while Mat Latos will be doing so for Cincinnati.

Neither has a history of retaliation, although Latos did accuse the Indians of stealing signs in a game he pitched last year. That could come into play as well.

So will something erupt over the next three days?

My guess is likely not. Both teams are in the thick of division races, and suspensions are the last thing either team needs.

However, as the old saying goes, “Never say never.”

Whatever happens, this should be an interesting three days as the Battle for Ohio rages on.

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