Thursday, January 14, 2016
Posted by el duque at 7:46 AM
It's an experience thing.
In his career, Chapman has only worked one job: Pitching the ninth. He wouldn't know what to do in the eighth or seventh inning, when the sun hangs high and batters' beards have yet to shade their jawlines. Chapman is a closer, a 9th inning artiste. If you were to, say, bring him into the eighth, who knows what would happen?
The Yankees' other aces, Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller, have both pitched in earlier innings. They can use that valuable experience to advantage. They will be like "Jungleland" and "Glory Road" at the Springsteen show. Chapman will be "Born To Run," the final crescendo before "New York, New York."
I get that. Not sure it needed to be announced in mid-January, but I see the reasoning. In his five years at Cincinnati, the LH Chapman basically fanned two batters per inning and walked one in every two outings. He is scary, especially to LH batters. Last year, they hit .143 against him. (RHers only hit .194.) And let's face it: We can't want to see him fan Big Papi with a game on the line.
Right now, this is the only interesting part of the 2016 Yankees: Imagining our 7th, 8th, and 9th inning bullpen running the table in a close game. Boom, boom, boom - so long, game over. If all three are on top of their game, they could easily strike out the final nine batters. And if - say - Tanaka is pitching well, we can view his last batters in the six inning as a sign that the game is over.
All we have do is somehow get into the seventh inning with a lead. And that's why Cashman today is back to dumpster diving.