Yankees escape Aroldis Chapman meltdown to beat Mets | Rapid reaction


NEW YORK — The idea of Chasen Shreve saving Aroldis Chapman’s butt sounds like something out of a fictional short story written by Shreve’s grandkid for English class someday.

But the Yankees lived it Saturday.

After Chapman melted down in the ninth inning trying to protect a four-run lead, Shreve worked the Yankees out a of a bases-loaded, no-outs bind, saving a 7-6 victory over the pesky Mets at Yankee Stadium.

The Yankees rebounded from a rough Friday loss to collect a dozen hits to support starting pitcher Sonny Gray (7-7), who’s trending upward after a terrible start. Starter Steven Matz (4-8) took the loss for the Mets.

Chapman, his velocity down and control non-existent, gave up two runs on three walks, a hit by pitch and a single to slice a 7-3 lead to two runs in the ninth.

He gave up a walk and a single before walking pinch hitter Ty Kelly on four pitches. Then he threw another four straight balls to Jose Reyes, forcing in a run and cutting the Yankees’ lead to 7-4.

At one point, Chapman threw 11 straight balls, culminating with hitting Brandon Nimmo to  another run. That forced manager Aaron Boone to yank Chapman in favor of Shreve, who’s been unsteady all season.

Chapman threw 19 pitches in all — 16 balls.

But Shreve proved up to the task. He got Devin Mesoraco to ground to second baseman Brandon Drury for an unassisted double play, as a run scored, charged to Chapman. Shreve then got Wilmer Flores to hit a weak tapper back to the mound to end the game.

What it means

The Yankees improved to 4-4 in their last eight games. They haven’t had a winning streak of at least three games since June 19-21. 

They started the day 5 1/2 games behind the Red Sox in the American League East. Boston plays the Tigers on Saturday night.

Insurance policy

The Yankees scored runs in the sixth, seventh and eighth to build the lead Chapman almost wasted.

In the sixth, Greg Bird hit a line-drive single to right field, bringing home Miguel Andujar, who had hit his second double of the day. In the seventh, Aaron Judge hit his 26th homer of the season off Mets reliever Tim Peterson, a moon shot that landed in the Mets’ bullpen.

Romine’s RBI groundout in the eighth provided the last run.

Sonny day

Gray put together his second straight solid start in his bid to remain in the Yankees’ rotation.

After throwing six scoreless and striking out a season-high eight against the Orioles before the All-Star break, Gray gave up two runs in 5 1/3 innings. He needed 94 pitches and came out after walking back-to-back batters in the sixth.

Gray, who struck out six, walked three batters and had the Yankees behind briefly, thanks to Michael Conforto’s home run to lead off the second inning. Conforto crushed Gray’s offering deep into the right-center field seats.

David Robertson came in for Gray and allowed a runner to score on Amed Rosario’s single to center field to cut the Yankees’ lead to 4-2.

It became 4-3 when Robertson tried a pickoff move to first base but hit the sliding Rosario in the foot. The ball trickled toward the mound and Jose Bautista scored easily, slicing the Yankees’ advantage to one.

Wild fourth

The Yankees entered the fourth inning down, 1-0, before hanging four runs on Matz.

A lot of the blame fell on center fielder Matt den Dekker, who misplayed to various degrees two balls that led to runs.

The Yankees slapped together a triple, two doubles and two singles.

Giancarlo Stanton led it off with a base hit. With one out, Didi Gregorius pulled a liner to right-center. den Dekker took a bad route to the ball, coming too far in on it, diving and missing. The ball traveled to the wall and caromed away from outfielders, giving Gregorius his third triple this season.

Miguel Andujar and Greg Bird followed up with back-to-back RBI doubles. Bird’s was just out of reach of den Dekker, who sprinted to the center field warning track. Austin Romine also contributed an RBI single, his soft liner falling just out of reach of a diving den Dekker.

Ejections

Plate umpire Larry Vanover tossed Mets hitting coach Pat Roessler for arguing balls and strikes in the third inning.

In the fifth, third base ump Hunter Wendelstedt threw Asdrubal Cabrera out for flipping out after Wendelstedt called strike three on Cabrera when he tried to check his swing on a pitch in the dirt.

Next

Yankees righty Masahiro Tanaka (7-2, 4.54 ERA) vs. Mets righty Jacob deGrom (5-4, 1.68 ERA) at 8:05 p.m. Sunday.

Brendan Kuty may be reached at bkuty@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @BrendanKutyNJ. Find NJ.com Yankees on Facebook.





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