James Kaprielian officiated Matt Chapman‘s wedding last December, but amidst all the celebrations he probably forgot to give a wedding gift to his best friend Chapman. In Wednesday’s series finale between the Athletics’ and Blue Jays, Matt Chapman slashed James Kaprielian for a solo home run, probably taking the wedding gift himself.
Squaring off with a best friend on the home plate, in Major League Baseball, isn’t that just exciting for two wonderful players and ex-teammates? Matt Chapman was due up next in Toronto Blue Jays’ batting order and his previous two meeting records against James Kaprielian have resulted in a deep flyout and five-pitch walk.
“I’m sure they’re gonna have a lot to talk about the rest of this season and through the offseason on that battle,” Mark Kotsay (Athletics’ manager and former outfielder) said. “They are good competitors and friends. Chappy’s got the upper hand right now in that conversation.”
James Kaprielian was hammered by his best friend Matt Chapman with a solo-HR
James Kaprielian went to start the seventh inning and he did it with four fastballs before throwing a 2-2 curveball that Chapman took just outside of the zone to reach a full count. Matt Chapman again was put up against fastballs of 94.1 and 93.7 mph coming right at him. Both were fouled off again.
At that moment Chapman felt a little rivalry rising between himself and his buddy James Kaprielian, on the eighth and final pitch he decided to come up on top in the battle, crushing an elevated 3-2 fastball thrown at 93.6 mph into the left-field bleachers for a booming 415-foot solo homer, the only run allowed by James Kaprielian in the Athletics’ 2-1 loss to the Blue Jays.
“I can’t walk him there,” Kaprielian said of the seventh-inning confrontation. “I’ve just got to make him beat me, and he did. His eyes were up there ready to hit that pitch. He hit a pitch that he was looking for.”
Chapman was the player to made Kaprielian feel comfortable when he was called in for the Majors, in his San Francisco home. Matt Chapman wanted him to focus on what became a breakout rookie campaign last season.
“When it comes to housing, you don’t know how long you’re going to be there,” James Kaprielian said. “I was fortunate to have someone like Chap. He was like, ‘Hey, I got a nice big house. Just come stay with me.’ He told me to focus on taking the ball every fifth day and proving I deserve to be here. That made it a lot easier.”