The hardest thrown pitch of 2018 so far is a hit-by-pitch

The ever-rising tides of pitch velocity in Major League Baseball have an unfortunate byproduct: getting hit by the balls hurts a heck of a lot more. Just ask Jackie Bradley Jr., who can’t seem to get out of the way of errant pitches from MLB velocity king Aroldis Chapman.

Bradley Jr. was plunked by Chapman for the third time of his career on Tuesday during the Yankees’ 3-2 win over the Red Sox, but this wasn’t just any pitch. At 103.3 mph Chapman had thrown the hardest pitch–not just HBP, but any pitch–recorded by Statcast all season, according to Mike Petriello of MLB.com.

Bradley Jr. remains the only player in MLB to get hit by Chapman multiple times, and now it’s happened three times in just seven plate appearances. The last time it happened, Bradley Jr. had a truly visceral take on what the HBP had done to his body, per masslive.com:

“I was telling some of the guys, ‘good thing I got my morning lift in, because it might have went through me,'” Bradley said. “That ball probably still has some bone marrow juice on it. It might have touched bone a little bit.”

Lovely.

Bradley Jr. can at least rest knowing he didn’t have the league’s most painful baseball-related experience in the last week. That award would go to Yadier Molina, who is out for month after taking a foul-tipped 101.5 mph ball to the groin from Chapman velocity challenger Jordan Hicks.

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Key moments in the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry
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Key moments in the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry
BOSTON - JULY 24: Alex Rodriguez of the Yankees and Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek trade blows in the 3rd inning that precipitated a bench clearing brawl between the two teams. Both players were ejected from the game. (Photo by Barry Chin/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
Babe Ruth wearing the uniform of the Boston Red Sox, the team he played with from 1915 until he joined the Yankees in 1920. (Photo via Getty Images)
NEW YORK CITY - OCTOBER 19: Alex Rodriguez of the New York Yankees heads into first base as Boston Red Sox pitcher Bronson Arroyo tries to tag him, during the eighth inning of the American League Championship Series at Yankee Stadium. Umpires ruled that Rodriguez was out because he batted the ball away from Arroyo. Doug Mienkiewicz of the Sox is at right. (Photo by Barry Chin/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
BOSTON - OCTOBER 16: As the fans go wild, Aaron Boone heads for home as Tim Wakefield heads for the off season in the background. (Photo by Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - OCTOBER 11: Boston Red Sox' pitcher Pedro Martinez (left) throws 72-year-old New York Yankees' bench coach Don Zimmer to the ground in a fourth-inning fracas at Fenway Park during Game 3 of the American League Championship Series. Martinez had hit the Yankees' Karim Garcia with a pitch at the top of the inning; when Yanks' pitcher Roger Clemens then nearly grazed the Sox' Manny Ramirez, a bench-clearing brawl ensued. Zimmer, who lunged at Martinez during the dustup, was taken to the hospital for observation, then released. The Yanks won, 4-3. (Photo by Linda Cataffo/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
(Original Caption) Boston: Boxing Or Wrestling? Yankee's Gene Michael (L) and Bosox catcher Carlton Fisk (top), battle on the mound as Yanks' Thurman Munson, (LL), is held down by (L to R), Boston's Doug Griffin, Carl Yastrzemski, and John Curtis during 9th inning melee at Fenway Park. Munson and Fisk were both thrown out of the game which Boston won 3-2.
UNITED STATES - OCTOBER 21: It's bedlam - but a happy kind - as Boston Red Sox players explode with joy after their 10-3 victory over the New York Yankees in Game 7 of the American League Championship Series at Yankee Stadium. In an astounding comeback, the Bosox became the first team in baseball history to win a best-of-seven series after losing the first three games. Now, they go on to the World Series. (Photo by Corey Sipkin/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
Apr 11, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; New York Yankees first baseman Tyler Austin (26) starts a scrum with Boston Red Sox relief pitcher Joe Kelly (56) during the seventh inning at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports
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