Cincinnati Reds rookie pitcher Aroldis Chapman made a stunning debut on Tuesday night, blowing away the Milwaukee Brewers in an inning of relief with his lights-out fastball that hit 164.
"Yeah, that was unfortunate," said Reds general manager Walt Jocketty. "The guys up in the control room rebooted the radar gun before he came in and it apparently came back on in kilometers per hour."
Chapman's pitches registering in the 150s and 160s sent shockwaves through the crowd. But most soon realized the Great American Ballpark boards were displaying km/h, not mph. And that only caused greater confusion.
"So is 164 km/h good?" asked one fan. "Isn't that kind of slow? Like, 70 mph or something? Oh, no. He's a bust. He's a bust, isn't he? I knew it."
The fans' unfamiliarity with the metric system notwithstanding, Chapman's 164 km/h clocking on the gun equates to 102 mph. But the gun wasn't set back to mph until his 8th-inning stint was over.
"By the time I came in to pitch the ninth, everyone was adjusted to km/h even though it had been set back to mph," said reliever Logan Ondrusek. "So my fastball came up as 88 and everyone thought I was throwing in the mid-50s and started laughing. Stupid metric system."