Aroldis Chapman had a Fourth of July to forget Sunday, giving up a home run rocket and facing red glares as the losing pitcher in the first game of the Yankees-Mets doubleheader.
The Yankees' All-Star left-hander came on to close Sunday's opener in the top of the seventh with his team holding a 5-4 lead. Three batters and 15 pitches later, Chapman was booed off the mound after giving up a home run, a hit batsman and a walk.
Pete Alonso, Chapman's first batter, smashed the homer, a 406-foot blast on a 1-2 count to tie the game 5-5.
“Chapman has a little attitude today. This is a big outing for him.”— OBVIOUS BASEBALL (@obvious_bb) July 4, 2021
Two seconds later: Gives up the game-tying HR pic.twitter.com/uj8CqMBfJY
Next up was Michael Conforto, whom Chapman hit on an 0-2 count. Chapman then had an eight-pitch battle with Jeff McNeil, eventually walking him on a 3-2 count to put runners on first and second. By that point, Yankees manager Aaron Boone had seen enough and took his closer off the mound amid boos from the home crowd.
Lucas Luetge came on after Chapman exited, but he didn't fare much better. First, he allowed a single to Kevin Pillar that loaded the bases. Two batters later, Jose Peraza notched a controversial two-run double after fan interference in the outfield to score Conforto and McNeil and give the Mets a 7-5 lead:
The Mets take a 7-5 lead on a double which also had some fan interference pic.twitter.com/qu9aj3mNKG— Talkin' Yanks (@TalkinYanks) July 4, 2021
Even if the interference hadn't occurred, it's still likely the Mets would have taken the lead on the play. Pillar and Peraza scored on a Brandon Nimmo single (Nimmo moved up a base on a throwing error by Aaron Judge), and then Francisco Lindor followed with an RBI single to score Nimmo one batter later.
Mets pitcher Seth Lugo retired the side in the bottom of the seventh to keep the score 10-5 in favor of the Mets in the seven-inning game. Chapman ended up with this unenviable stat line: zero innings pitched, one hit, three earned runs. His season ERA jumped to 4.71.
Chapman could get redemption in Game 2 of the doubleheader. (UPDATE: He didn't. Chad Green got the save in a 4-2 Yankees victory.) Regardless, considering it was the Yankees — and how badly Chapman has struggled since MLB implemented crackdowns on illegal substances on pitchers' persons — the bad outing created quite the reaction on Twitter:
Aroldis Chapman this season— Bets Stats (@betsstats) July 4, 2021
First 18 appearances
Last 13 appearances
10 2/3 IP
13 SO pic.twitter.com/bTrKjdaj6T
AROLDIS CHAPMAN SMILING AFTER HOME RUNS IS ALWAYS INTERESTING— Fuzzy (@fuzzyfromyt) July 4, 2021
I don't cover the Yankees, so I don't know their intricacies. But using Aroldis Chapman instead of just sticking with Chad Green for the seventh seemed questionable 10 minutes ago... and downright silly now.— Anthony DiComo (@AnthonyDiComo) July 4, 2021
Chapman is gone. Go-ahead run is in scoring position with no outs.
Gerrit Cole Aroldis Chapman— In Mets We Trust (@InMetsWeTrust) July 4, 2021
Not being able to use Spider Tack
Aroldis Chapman and Gerrit Cole being absolute boo-boo without sticky stuff is heartwarming— Roosh (@RooshWilliams) July 4, 2021