Aroldis gets animated mound visit from Girardi

Struggling Yanks closer allows at least one run for fourth straight outing

August 19th, 2017

BOSTON -- The animated discussion between and Joe Girardi in the eighth inning took place at the center of a frenzied Fenway Park on Friday evening, moments after 's two-run single skidded through the center-field grass to provide the final scoring in the Yankees' 9-6 loss to the Red Sox.

Girardi insisted that he was not annoyed with his closer, though the left-hander had seemed to lose his focus in that inning. Chapman neglected to hold and , who executed a double steal, then didn't back up home plate when ' throw home skipped away for an error on Bradley's hit.

"I have been through difficult situations where things have not gone my way," Chapman said through an interpreter. "This one definitely is the hardest one. But I'm pretty sure I will bounce back."

Chapman's recent woes continued after the Yankees' bullpen coughed up a three-run lead in the seventh inning, with Mitch Moreland's pinch-hit two-run single off Tommy Kahnle serving as the go-ahead hit. The Yankees fell five games behind the Red Sox in the American League East.

"Really, it just boils down to they were getting hits," Kahnle said. "I thought I was making good pitches and basically it just didn't turn out in my favor."

After the Yankees went 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position, leaving 14 men on base -- seven by , who made outs with the bases loaded in both the sixth and seventh innings -- Girardi made the rare move of bringing Chapman into the eighth inning of a game the Yankees were losing.

The idea was to restore Chapman's confidence after a run of subpar outings. Devers greeted Chapman by lacing a single to right, Chapman walked Vazquez and both runners stole before Bradley's big knock. Chapman has allowed eight runs -- seven earned -- in 6 1/3 innings (9.95 ERA) to the Red Sox this season.

"We've got to get him right," Girardi said.

Chapman's velocity seemed fine on Friday, one outing after he felt his right hamstring tighten against the Mets on Tuesday, averaging 99.5 mph with his fastball and maxing at 102 mph. Chapman said that his command has been off, and he is 3-2 with a 4.70 ERA in 24 appearances since returning from the DL in mid-June.

"I feel physically really, really good," Chapman said. "My arm feels great. I think it's just a tough moment I'm going through. Eventually, I'm pretty sure I'll get out of it."

The roaring crowd noise, Girardi said, was responsible for the optic of Chapman being lectured on the mound. Chapman said that the chat was about "technical things."

"I was just talking about the situation," Girardi said. "It's so loud out there, you can't even hear. I was talking about the situation and the importance of holding the baserunner. Let's go."

Chapman has now permitted at least one run in four straight outings, including Devers' game-tying homer in the ninth inning of a 3-2, 10-inning Yankees loss on Sunday at Yankee Stadium.

"You can't get frustrated," Chapman said. "Definitely, the last couple of outings haven't been what I wanted them to be. It's a tough moment right now, but you can't get frustrated. You just have to work hard and get out of it."