Aroldis Chapman vs. Vladdy Jr, Flo Bichette, and Biggio In The 9th Was Incredible Television
Well, goddamn that was fun huh? We can call it fun now that all of the dust has settled and the Yankees got the split against Toronto, but during that 9th inning I wanted no part of the events unfolding. None. Zip. Nada. Vladdy Jr.? Yeah fuck that guy and his wagon ass.
After Tanaka exited in the 9th following Drury’s base hit, Aroldis Chapman was brought in to shut the door. Awaiting him at the plate was the pinch hitter, Vladdy Jr.
13 pitches. 5 over 100 mph. 7 foul balls. One ball hit 500 feet foul on a hanging slider at the knees. Back and forth between Chapman and Romine shaking each other off. It was an incredible war at the plate.
I do not look forward to the next 15 years of facing Vladdy. He is a monster.
After the double play, Chapman wasn’t done yet with these young studs. Bo Bichette worked an eight pitch at bat and laced a single to left to give the Jays extended life. That brought up Cavan Biggio, who battled before striking out on a slider. Finally, it was over.
Toronto’s best young stars against Chapman. 27 pitches. Every single one packed with immense pressure and in the end Aroldis came out on top. He’s looked a lot better in general in the month on August. 4 appearances and only two hits surrendered. Whatever slump he got into in July appears to be behind him, thank god.
I had to talk about the 9th inning to start, but the real hero today was Masahiro Tanaka. The right hander entered today with an 11.57 ERA over his last four starts. He’s struggled to find his splitter, adjusting his grip after almost every outing trying to find the seams with the new ball this year. Today was the best he’s looked in a long time.
The splitter still isn’t fully there and the swings and misses are still down, but he’s getting there. Through 8+ innings today Tanaka gave up three hits, no walks, no runs, and struck out four. He needed this start today, as did the Yankees. I like that Boone gave him a shot at the 9th, being only at 91 pitches. I liked that he was pulled after the leadoff single. It all played out the way it should have. Nice when that happens.
Yanks get the split. Get back to 36 games over .500. The Orioles are currently leading Houston in the 8th so that would be nice (nope completely blew it). And now a nice doubleheader back at the stadium tomorrow against Baltimore. Beautiful. 8 games in a 7 day home stand coming up. Hey, maybe even Aaron Judge will start to do something. Who knows?