Yankees: Aaron Judge walks it off after Aroldis Chapman blows first save of season
Up one heading into the ninth inning, one of the safest bets in all of baseball right now is letting New York Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman to take the ball and shut the door.
Heading into Sunday, he had yet to give up a run in his 18 appearances. He sported an incredible 0.32 FIP. He led the American League with 11 saves.
This couldn’t possibly continue for much longer, right? Not that Chapman should be due for a horrid slump, but he had to blow a save at some point.
Well, that moment finally came on Sunday against the Chicago White Sox.
The Yankees led 4-3 heading into the bottom of the ninth and manager Aaron Boone called on Chapman to complete the sweep.
But he gave up a game-tying home run to rookie Andrew Vaughn. It was an opposite field blast that silenced the crowd. Ouch.
Aroldis Chapman blew it, but Aaron Judge walked it off for the Yankees.
Chapman managed to escape the inning with that being the only damage. Then the Bombers had the bottom of the ninth to respond, and that’s exactly what they did.
They heard all the groans from fans about their 1-6 record in opportunities to finish off sweeps. And the bottom of the order got it all started.
Clint Frazier singled to center and stole second. DJ LeMahieu was intentionally walked. Tyler Wade, who was in the game for Miguel Andújar, reached on an infield single. Bases loaded, one out for … Aaron Judge.
And the big man secured the first walk-off of his career!
That was technically ball five to walk him, too. Judge “swung” at the first pitch as he avoided a fastball that nearly took off his head. Why White Sox manager Tony La Russa didn’t go to Liam Hendriks in the beginning of the frame, we’ll never know. But the closer was tasked with putting out a fire after the bases had already been loaded. Not what you want against the Yankees.
Nonetheless, credit to the offense. The lineup continues to come through when the team needs it, and the pitching staff keeps them in the game throughout. You couldn’t ask for a better situation right now.
That’s six straight wins. And even when Chapman’s fastball can’t get the job done, the Yankees figure out a way to beat one of the best teams in the American League. Enjoy the day off on Monday, everyone.