SPANISH HARLEM – Rivalry week is under way, at least that’s what they keep telling me on the YES Network. Last weekend it was the Hated Boston Red Sox, this week it continued with the New York Mets. Those in the city like to make the Subway Series more than it is and I’m sure each fan base wants bragging rights but it really means more to everyone when both teams are among the best in baseball. So far the Yankees have won every game in this series and that can only help after losing a hard fought series against the Red Sox.
The Yankees have seesawed their way to wins and loses the last month or so and the Mets… well the Mets are doing Met-like things. For the Baby Bombers every win matters but its more important when they come against teams ahead of you in the division. I hated losing that series to Boston and to make matters Aroldis Chapman (more on him later) blew a save that would of allowed the team to gain a game in standings. The Yanks still lead in the Wild Card Race by two games but you want to win the division and that means beating the Red Sux when the opportunity presents itself. There is still a lot of games left to catch up but as Yogi Berra once said “it gets late early out here”. You can’t give away wins when you have a lead going into the 9th Inning because those loses can demoralize a young ball club.
That brings me to another subject that has made a lot of news lately. Aroldis Chapman has been shaky to say the least, he has blown saves of late that have some fans outraged. I’ll spare you the stats but some have noticed that Chapman has not gotten the swings and misses that he has in the past. There are those that have attributed his slide in production to being overworked by Joe Maddon last season during the Chicago Cubs run to a Championship. I’m not too sure that has something to do with it but you have to take that into consideration. In my observations, I see a guy who has lost some confidence, someone trying to make the perfect pitch. When a guy who throws as hard as Chapman gets hit the way he has, it makes you hesitant to throw the Fastball. There are other Pundits who speculate that everyone throws hard now so players are used to seeing that type of fastball but the fact is he has to right the ship. Whether he stays as the closer or not, the guy can still pitch as well as any reliever in baeball and you hope you can get him to where he used to be because the Yankees will need the Chapman of old if they are to make any noise down the stretch.
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