The New York Yankees looked destined to slip up in their hard-fought series against the Oakland Athletics, as closer Aroldis Chapman couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn after coming in for yet another save.
Chapman walked the first few batters, and the fact that a very dangerous hitter in Sean Murphy was coming to the plate certainly didn’t look like good news for Chapman and the rest of the team.
Not only did the Yankees somehow preserve their lead and take ownership of this series thanks to a 2-1 scoreline, but they did so in such extraordinary fashion that A’s fans simply have to clasp their head in their palms and wonder how this possibly happened.
After already getting out of a ninth-inning jam against the Chicago White Sox earlier in the year, Chapman got Murphy to bounce into a 5-4-3 triple-play, as Gio Urshela connected with DJ LeMahieu at second, who fired over to Chris Gittens to cap off a wild Yankees win. They are now 5-1 in their last six games.
The New York Yankees won on another triple-play.
The Yankees became the first team since the 2016 White Sox to record three triple plays in a season. This number also ties the MLB record for triple plays in a season, per Katie Sharp. Mind you, we aren’t even finished June yet. There is really no telling how high that number could climb if the Yankees keep wiggling out of situations like this.
New York looked dead in the water for most of the game, as lefty starter Sean Manaea was taking them down without even breaking a sweat for the first six innings. Gary Sanchez came through with a timely two-run double, and that was all the offense New York needed to take home the win in this one.
After a quality performance on the mound from Jordan Montgomery, the bullpen once again did their thing. Jonathan Loaisiga got the Yankees out of trouble, Lucas Luetge pitched a solid eighth, and Chapman got the squad into a jam before some luck from the baseball gods ended up giving them a victory against an A’s team clinging to a lead in the AL West.
The fact that Chapman struggled with control was concerning, but no matter how it comes about, Aaron Boone and the Yankees will take a victory against an Oakland team with legit playoff aspirations. It helps that they were able to do so with a bit of pizzazz after a difficult first few innings.