Former New York Yankees pitcher and current Texas Rangers closer, Aroldis Chapman, seems to be caught in a rut during high-stakes moments. On Thursday night, Chapman’s performance hindered the Rangers from securing their first postseason berth since 2016.
In the nail-biting ninth inning against the Seattle Mariners, Texas, with a 2-1 lead, entrusted Chapman to secure the win. However, Chapman couldn’t record a single out before being pulled with a fully loaded base. Trying to salvage the situation, reliever Johnathan Hernandez managed two outs but unfortunately ceded a walk-off two-run double to J.P. Crawford. This surprise twist kept the Mariners’ AL West and Wild Card hopes alive.
For the Rangers, the sting was real: Chapman’s misstep earned him the loss. Now, with their magic number standing at 2 for the division and 1 for a playoff position, the Rangers are still in control. However, concerns about their bullpen, especially regarding Chapman, are intensifying.
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Comparing Chapman’s Performance
After moving to the Rangers from the Kansas City Royals this season, 35-year-old Chapman has showcased a 3.72 ERA, converting only four saves in 29.1 innings pitched.
Yankees fans might find this familiar. During his tenure with the New York Yankees, Chapman frequently faced challenges in high-pressure situations. Such inconsistencies led to him ceding his closing role to Clay Holmes last year. Further fallout from his performance irregularities included the Yankees omitting him from their playoff roster following his absence from a compulsory workout.
With the postseason drawing near, the Rangers are undoubtedly hoping for a turnaround from Chapman. But given the similarities in his performance between Texas and his time with the Yankees, it remains to be seen how the Rangers will leverage him in the postseason, especially after Thursday’s fiasco.
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