I just about had a heart attack, along with 47,000 or so other fans, at Yankee Stadium yesterday.
Aroldis Chapman came into the game with a four-run lead, threw 19 pitches, only 3 of which were strikes, and Chasen Shreve, of all people, had to come in with the bases loaded and no one out to save a 7-6 Yankees’ win over the Mets.
The win for the 63-34 Yanks, combined with Boston’s loss to the Tigers, moved the Yanks 4 1/2 back of Boston.
The Mets scored first when Sonny Gray gave up a HR to Michael Conforto on his first pitch in the second inning.
The Yanks got four in the fourth. Stanton reached on an infield dribbler. Gregorius tripled him in. Andujar doubled on a ball that would have been a double anyway, but some jackass leaned over the fence and caught it. Security was there soon thereafter to escort him from the Stadium. 2-1 Yanks. Bird doubled, 3-1. After a flyout, Romine singled in Bird to make it 4-1 Yanks. The Mets CF had a tough time that inning, diving for a couple of balls and coming up just short on the balls hit by Didi, Bird and Romine.
In the sixth, Gray walked a couple of batters and in came Robertson. He got out of the inning but not before giving up an RBI single and then by giving up another run on a boneheaded play. With two out and runners on first and third, he tried to pick off the runner at first. The ball hit the runner and ricocheted back toward the pitcher’s mound. As the ball was ricocheting back, the runner on third (Jose Bautista) scored to make it 4-3. Robertson then struck out the batter for the last out. Concentrate on, and do that first, especially with two out, just concentrate on getting that batter out, and that other run doesn’t score.
The Yanks got the run back in the bottom of the sixth on a double by Andujar and single by Bird. 5-3.
Aaron Judge homered in the seventh (26) to make it 6-3 Yanks.
To the eighth, Andujar singled and went to third when Drury singled, Drury advancing on the throw, which hit Andujar. Romine’s RBI groundout made it 7-3.
In came Chapman with a 4-run lead. Because of the All-Star break, he hadn’t pitched in a week, and my friend Larry was worried that Chapman may not have his command. He was right. Shreve was warming with Chapman in the eighth but sat down when Chapman came into the game. So no one was warming up when Chapman did come in.
Note to Boone: never assume.
Chapman was all over the place. At one point he threw 11 straight balls. Walk. Infield single. Walk. Walk to make it 7-4. HBP to make it 7-5. Now Shreve is rushed in with the bases loaded and no one out, and very little if any warmup time after the original warmup. Chapman was booed (he has had a great year, but for this outing, ugh) and the confidence level that the Yanks could get out of this wasn’t too high.
But Shreve got a DP, runner on third scoring, to make it 7-6. Two out, tying run on third, and Shreve got a little nubber back to the mound to end the game.
Sanchez still doesn’t look right at the plate, and goodness, how many teams with .600 or better winning percentages have a .188 hitting cleanup hitter?
Judge 3 hits, solo HR. Triple shy of cycle.
Andujar 3 hits, 2 of them doubles
Bird 2 hits, 2 RBI.
Romine 2 RBI
Gray (W, 7-7, 5.34) 5 1/3 IP, 3 R, 2 ER, 3 H, 3 W, 6 K. Gave up 1 HR, 1 HBP
Robertson (H, 15) 2/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 2 K. Made one huge error. 3.05
Holder (H, 5) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K. 1.76
Betances (H, 16) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K. 2.55
Chapman 0 IP, 3 R, 1 H, 3 W, 0 K. 1 HBP. 2.03 All 5 runners reached. 19 pitches, 3 strikes.
Shreve (S, 1) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K. 4.25
It was Shreve’s 2nd MLB save (he had one in 2016). I think he’ll remember this one better than the first one.
Once again, whew.
Update: Chapman said he feels fine and that it wasn’t the knee.