He hit 102 mph on the radar gun on several occasions. He did not take anyone for a walk. And he made the save in the Yankees 6-4 win over the Phillies at the Stadium.
“He was very confident there,” wide receiver Gary Sanchez said through an interpreter, after the Yankees’ third win in four tries since the All-Star break.
Chapman allowed a run on a long Andrew McCutchen home run. But that was it. The Cuban rocket-launcher left-hander knocked out the other three Phillies he faced, including a 3-0 return to fan Bryce Harper to start the frame. Of his 15 shots, 12 were catches, a ratio the Yankees must like. His fastball crackled. He had control of his shattering ball. He did not walk anyone for the second straight game, having allowed 12 walks in his previous seven outings.
“It’s Chapman. He is not a different person. It’s Chapman. What I see of him today is what I see of him in the past, ”Sanchez said. “I see the sharpness [his] latest releases. I see the quality of his pitches.
Afterwards, Aaron Boone made it clear that Chapman was his closest. He’s seen enough lately to be ready to put the ball back in his hands at the end of the game. Chapman now has four solid outings in a row since his disastrous back-to-back performance against the Angels and Mets, when he allowed seven points while registering just one to see his ERA increase to 4.71.
In his last four innings, however, Chapman struck out eight and allowed just two hits, somewhat reminiscent of his dominant start to the season. Three of these recent performances were performed without any pressure. Tuesday was different, even though he inherited a three-point lead.
“If we’re going to be the club that we hope to be and get to where we want to go, ‘Chappie’ has to be the guy there,” Boone said. “We have to get him to go. I think his last outings he’s starting to come back to where he was.