The Yankees won their fourth straight game after a disasterous weekend in Boston and all was going according to plan against the Rangers on Thursday night through eight innings.
J.A. Happ threw another quality start; Giancarlo Stanton homered again, as did Neil Walker (twice!), Miguel Andujar and Aaron Hicks. The bullpen behind Happ was strong-- until Aroldis Chapman entered the game.
Chapman walked his first two batters while averaging 96 MPH on his fastball. After a mound visit, he almost exclusively threw his slider and retired the next three batters without letting a run in. Still, it's concerning for what is meant to be a strength of the team.
"I do think it is a little more mechanical," manager Aaron Boone said after the game. He added that he believes Chapman is fine physically.
Boone also isn't pertubed by the fact that Chapman has only pitched eight times since July 7.
"I think the rest is good,'' Boone said. "Hopefully, we start to get in games where we have leads and situations to bring him in. … He's good to go."
In those eight outings, Chapman has given up five earned runs in seven innings (6.43 ERA) and walked 10 batters.