The New York Yankees didn't play a baseball game on Monday night. Unfortunately, that didn't prevent it from being one of the most ruthless Twitter nights -- sorry, "X" nights -- of their 2023 season.
While the Yankees are preparing for the Subway Series, ex-closer Aroldis Chapman is now with the Texas Rangers, maintaining a scoreless streak through his first seven appearances in the uniform. This was a great week for him! He got Ben Verlander's praise for his 103.4 MPH pitch with slider movement. He rediscovered his velocity with a simple tweak the Yankees couldn't figure out. The man was riding high.
Then, the Houston Astros showed up, he lost 6 MPH and he got Xeeted to the moon by Chas McCormick.
Handed a three-run lead and the meat of the order in the ... seventh inning on Monday evening (Bruce Bochy masterclass?), Chapman put two runners on and gave up a game-tying McCormick homer that looked exactly like a 2019 rerun. And Yankee fans weren't the only ones who noticed.
Didn't see the "increased rotation of the hips" playing much of a role here in creating velocity, as Chapman lost all control and ultimately surrendered a game-changing three-run home run on 97 middle-away. Very, very familiar.
Yankees struggles haunt Aroldis Chapman in Houston yet again
Talk about a bad tattoo.
Also ... since when is McCormick an Altuve mimic? The stance, the uncoling swing, and the exact home run landing spot. Chills. You simply can't rule out a nefarious cloning process (spearheaded by Carlos Beltrán and Alex Cora and no one else, of course).
The Astros went on to (surprise, surprise) walk this game off in the bottom of the ninth, leaving Yankee fans to relive one of their highest highs (DJ LeMahieu's game-tying smash) and resulting lowest lows (Chapman's season-ending meltdown, followed closely by Chapman's season-ending meltdown the very next year, too).
The only thing this dinger was missing was a closeup on Chapman in an attempt to catch another wry smile.
Did his brain leak out of his ears and create a facial response again? Or was he just blindly resigned to his fate this time?
Naturally, Houston had a field day once again. All they've had since 2017 are field days. They had another one.
Chapman's failure coincided with the Tennessee Titans' "Houston Oilers" jersey reveal, giving H-Town the perfect opportunity to make a "Two Things" joke. See? It's two things!
At this point, Chapman just has to tip his cap and call the Astros his daddy.
Altuve and McCormick, specifically, as well as any Future Astros who want to swing just like them and drill the ball the same part of the park.