June 11, 2021

Schadenfreude 296: (A Continuing Series)

Aroldis Chapman ended the Yankees' 2019 season when he gave up a two-out, bottom-of-the-ninth, tie-breaking, pennant-winning, two-run home run to Jose Altuve.

Aroldis Chapman ended the Yankees' 2020 season when he gave up a tie-breaking home run in the bottom of the eighth inning to Mike Brosseau, who went deep on the at-bat's 10th pitch, in the winner-take-all Game 5 of the ALDS. (Background: Chapman threw a 101-mph fastball near Brosseau's head in early September.)

Is Aroldis Chapman getting warmed up to torpedo the Yankees' 2021 season?

The Yankeed led the Twins 5-3 when Chapman began the bottom of the ninth. He fell behind his first batter, three balls and one strike. Chapman's next (and final) five pitches went: single, ball 1, home run, single, home run.

Jorge Polanco (bbcb) singled to left.

Josh Donaldson (b) homered to left-center, Polanco and Donaldson scored. 5-5.

Pinch-hitter Willians Astudillo singled to left.

Nelson Cruz homered to center, Astudillo and Cruz scored. 7-5.

MFY - 300 101 000 - 5 12  1 
MIN - 100 100 004 - 7 12  1
Loss: Chapman (0-4-4-0-0, 9).

Dan Martin, Post:

The Yankees were three outs away from sweeping the Twins out of Target Field.

And then Aroldis Chapman came in.

The closer . . . had perhaps his worst outing ever, giving up a game-tying, two-run homer to Josh Donaldson and then a game-winning homer to Nelson Cruz, as the Twins roared back in the bottom of the ninth for a 7-5 win on Thursday night.

Chapman didn't retire any of the four batters he faced and his face-plant spoiled [the] night . . .

More sloppy play from the Yankees got them in trouble with one out in the fifth, as Cruz reached on catcher's interference on Gary Sanchez and Larnach followed with a single to left that could have been caught by Andujar. . . .

The real test to see if the Yankee offense is ready to live up to expectations comes this weekend, when they head to Philadelphia for a two-game set and will see more representative competition.

Kristie Ackert, Daily News:

Aroldis Chapman did not have it. The Yankees' hard-throwing closer was struggling with his velocity Thursday night and his command was not there. The Twins made him pay for it. Josh Donaldson and Nelson Cruz each hit two-run home runs off Chapman for a 7-5, walk-off win over the Bombers at Target Field Thursday night.

The two homers tied a career high for Chapman, so did the four runs. Chapman had allowed two home runs in an outing just twice before in his career, the last time in 2016. . . .

After spending all week talking about MLB's impending crackdown on pitchers using illegal sticky substances to get greater command and spin rates on their pitches, Chapman's velocity being down an average of 2.3 miles per hour from his average for the season raised some eyebrows.

(Stupid basketball playoffs are regularly keeping any baseball doings off the back pages, but I still expected more of a reaction in the tabloids after this loss. I guess the MFY winning the first two games  of the series mitigated a lot dooming and glooming. Ah, well, I'm posting it anyway.)

1 comment:

Unknown said...

The MFY literati missed a golden headline chance:
Think John Keats, 1816:

On First Looking into Chapman's Homer
"...and all his men
Look'd at each other with a wild surmise—
Silent..."

Wild surmise, indeed. Let's hope they get another chance.