He is not the miracle man. He’s a closer, and maybe the best in the game. Nevertheless, he’s still a closer. Moreover, a closer only matters when you have a lead. That’s what I thought as I read all the excitement about the return of Aroldis Chapman. The Yankees aren’t hitting, so why would a closer matter? On paper, it shouldn’t matter. On paper, the biggest change to having Chapman back on the active roster is how they were going to get him innings of work.
It shows you how unpredictable the game is. In Chapman’s first game back from suspension, The Yankees’ home run bats came awake. Five solo homers, and all of them of the solo variety. Does this sound familiar? It should. For the last couple of years, the concern was over how much of the Yankees’ run production came from homers. More to the point, do the Yankees have the ability to manufacture runs without the long ball?
One game does not indicate a pattern. Nevertheless, there is something here. Is it beyond coincidence that a change in the bullpen gets people thinking more positively? The fact is that at least for one game, the Yankees reverted to their old pattern of run scoring. It is more productive than the one they’ve been living with for the past couple of months. Maybe Aroldis Chapman showing up woke up the team. I am not going to complain.
The key here is going to be to continue the momentum. Momentum can be a great friend and a great foe. It can help you be better than yourself or worse than yourself. The slow start definitely became the Yankees’ worst enemy. Maybe Chapman’s arrival will be their best friend. The thing about momentum is that you have to keep it going. If the Yankees do turn this season around, it started the moment Chapman stood on the mound that night.
Oh yeah, Yanks won last night again... 10-7. Chapman? He got save #1...
--Ike Dimitriadis, BYB Senior Staff Writer
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