Yankees News, 6/24: Aroldis Chapman explodes after Boone decision, Bombers steal a win

New York Yankees, Aroldis Chapman
Sep 20, 2018; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees relief pitcher Aroldis Chapman (54) walks to the dugout against Boston Red Sox during the eighth inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees squeaked out a victory over the Kansas City Royals on Wednesday by a score of 6-5. Thanks to a ninth-inning led by Gary Sanchez, who homered to left field to tie the game, and Luke Voit singling to deep left, driving in Tyler Wade, a thrilling game-winner. Surely, a confidence booster for the squad as they climb their back into the AL East race.

Since returning, Voit has been fantastic, securing the win for the Bombers and recording a home run on the first pitch he saw on Tuesday. However, he did strike out three times in the victory on Wednesday, but he came through when it mattered most, and that is why the Yankees love his presence in the batting order.

However, closer Aroldis Chapman struggled in the ninth-inning once again, elevating his ERA to 2.54 after hosting a 0.39 ERA at one point in the season. He allowed two runs, giving Kansas City the lead, but was bailed out by his team for the second time this week, after the infield turned a triple play to get him out of trouble.

However, skipper Aaron Boone made a risky decision that ultimately paid off considerably, but Chapman was angry with his choice, electing to walk Carlos Santana purposefully. Santana hosts a .250 average with 12 homers this year, and represents one of Kansas City’s best offensive threats.

“When we met on the mound, Chapman wanted to pitch to Santana, and that’s what we talked about,” catcher Gary Sanchez said through an interpreter. “But later on, Boone made the decision to walk him. And he’s the manager — that’s [something] he has to do as manager of the team, making the tough decision. … Probably not what Chapman wanted to do there in that situation.”

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“You definitely saw the emotions,” Sanchez said. “He was a bit frustrated there with that inning.”

Things have been difficult for Chapman as of late, and hopefully, he can regain his form in the coming days. Ever since the MLB crackdown on illegal substances, Chapman has had issues with his control and velocity. It simply could be a mental thing after being slapped around, including two home runs allowed several days ago to blow a save. The Yankees need their star closer to return to his normal self, but there’s no telling when that might be.

Nonetheless, the Yankees are preparing to take on Kansas City in the final game of a three-game series on Thursday afternoon. They will feature Jamison Taillon on the mound, who has had trouble this year with his location, currently hosting a 5.59 ERA.

Luckily, the Royals have Brad Keller on the mound, who has a 6.34 ERA the season and has allowed 33 walks and 91 hits over 71 innings pitched.