Thursday, April 27, 2017


Photo: Getty Images
Aaron Judge homered like Superman and made a catch trying to fly like him. Luis Severino pitched a 7-inning beauty. Greg Bird drove in a crucial insurance run.

The opening game of the 2017 Red Sox series was memorable for its key contributions from the team's younger members.

I'm just hoping it doesn't become remembered for something worse.

Photo: Getty Images
As's Brendan Kuty reported last night: "Chapman grabbed his left elbow immediately after he closed out the Yankees' 3-1 win over the Red Sox at Fenway Park on Wednesday.

The fireballing closer fanned Josh Rutledge with a 98-mph fastball and as catcher Austin Romine put a congratulatory arm around his shoulder, Chapman briefly clutched the crucial joint.

Afterward, however, Chapman said it was nothing.

"I feel fine," Chapman said, via team translator Marlon Abreu. "Thank God, I feel fine."

There seems to be reasons to worry, though.

Chapman, whose fastball had averaged 100 mph in seven outings this season, touched the century mark just once. Instead, it averaged 98.7 mph, according to Brooks Baseball. He also got just two swings and misses.

Chapman needed a season-high 33 pitches to get through the inning, in which he allowed a run and then put runners on the corners for Rutledge. Rutledge put a scare into the Yankees when he lifted a slider for a long fly to left field, but it stayed foul. On the next pitch, Chapman ended it.

Manager Joe Girardi said Chapman's recent lack of action could have been why the closer struggled. He had only pitched twice since April 17, his last appearance coming Saturday.

"He hasn't had a lot of work and that could have something to do with it," Girardi said.

Photo: Getty Images
Chapman didn't allow any excuses.

"I would not blame not throwing for a couple of days or blame the weather at all. It's just sometimes you're not as sharp. That's it," the 28-year-old said."

We've heard that one before.  I hope the team won't take his word for it and plans to scope his shoulder to be sure.

 --Barry Millman
BYB Writer
Twitter: @nyyankeefanfore

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