Chapman Squanders Encarnacion Heroics — July 15, 2019: Tampa 5 NY 4

Tough one.

The Yankees had battled back from a 2-0 deficit against Blake Snell, defending AL Cy Young winner who was pitching like a Cy Young winner — and took a 4-2 lead into the 9th on the homerun bat of Edwin Encarnacion.

Aroldis Chapman, doing his best John Wetteland, got into trouble with 2 leadoff batters on — then struck out 2 — and just as he was about to get out of trouble for the save as he’s done all year — Travis d’Arnaud, former Met, with 2 strikes on him, hit a homerun to win the game for Tampa. Second-place Tampa — which is now 5 games out.


Fickle Finger of Blame –> Chapman

And the Fickle Finger of Blame, which had been pointed squarely at Edwin Encarnacion for days, pivoted around and pointed squarely at Chapman. Yankee Twitter lit up with accusations that he wasn’t as good as he used to be, he always does us to us (give us agita; get in trouble and work out of it), and they couldn’t go all the way this year with him as the ace.

Aroldis Chapman:

  • Actually leads the American League in Saves with 25, but has 4 blown saves — already twice as many as last year. His career high is 5 blown saves, and it is only July 15th.
  • His ERA reflects this — it is a tad high for an ace reliever at 2.45, but exactly the same as last year’s 2.45 — although not as brilliant as the 1.55 he threw down that year he was sent to the Cubs to help win the World Series.
  • Has pitched 36.2 innings, allowing 29 hits — also not so great for an ace reliever.
  • Has struck out 53 and walked 12 — good numbers.
  • Got the save in the All Star game — getting a 1-2-3 inning.

Encarnacion –> Hero

Edwin Encarnacion was poised to be the hero of this game. His homer in the 4th cut the 2-0 deficit in half. His 2-run homer in the 8th put the Yanks ahead heading to the 9th.

In between, Gio Urshela hit a HUGE homerun in the 7th to tie the game.

Yanks Got Good Pitching Otherwise & Good Defense

James Paxton started for the Yanks and allowed another run in the 1st inning, something he’s done all year. And then settled down to pitch 6 strong innings (2 runs, 7 strikeouts). Chad Green pitched 2 shutout innings.

Aaron Hicks made some spectacular plays in centerfield and got 2 hits. Aaron Judge made another spectacular throw to gun a runner down in the 4th.


DJ LeMahieu got 2 hits to raise his American-League-leading average back to .331. So his 3-game slump seems over. Aaron Judge got 2 walks but went 0-3 — he walked in the 9th to give the Yanks a baserunner but was criticized by some on Twitter for not getting a hit.

Luke Voit went 0-5 with 3 strikeouts, including the final out of the game — a 3rd strike he took looking on the outer edge of the plate.

It was a beautiful, warm summer-breeze July evening in the Bronx, after a hot 90-degree day; with beautiful sunset and full moon. A great night for baseball in the Bronx, until of course the blown save.


The Boxscore

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