Aroldis Chapman blows ninth-inning lead as Yankees suffer crushing loss to Angels
Shohei Ohtani couldn’t find the plate in the first inning Wednesday night, leading to the heralded two-way player lasting just two-thirds of an inning.
Aroldis Chapman couldn’t locate the plate in the ninth and the Yankees couldn’t recover, leading to arguably their worst loss of the season, which has already seen more than its share.
Chapman’s recent struggles continued as the closer, brought on to protect a four-run lead, walked the bases loaded, then allowed a game-tying grand slam to Jared Walsh (who homered in the fifth off Luis Cessa).
The Angels tacked on three runs later in the inning against lefty Lucas Luetge, sending the Yankees to an 11-8 loss in front of 30,714 at the Stadium.
"About as bad as it gets," Giancarlo Stanton said. "We’ve got to pick this [expletive] up. That’s it."
The vast majority of fans were long gone by game’s end — two rain delays, one lasting 42 minutes and one lasting 1 hour, 31 minutes, doing the trick, as well as a game mostly lacking drama until the final inning.
Many of those remaining, after Taylor Ward’s RBI single made it 11-8 in the top of the ninth, chanted "Fire Boone! Fire Boone!" as the fourth-year manager remains, along with GM Brian Cashman, the primary target of fans’ anger over a lackluster season that has now reached July.
"They deserve better than this," Boone said.
The Yankees, who led 7-2 after one and 8-4 going into the ninth, fell to 41-39.
"Terrible loss," Boone said. "Frustrating. Disappointing. Terrible. We have to pick ourselves up."
The Angels (39-41) did that for the 26-year-old Ohtani who, after leading off the game with a soft fly out to center, lasted a mere two-thirds of an inning on the mound, his lack of control leading to four walks and seven runs and in helping the Yankees to a big lead.
Ohtani, who came in 3-1 with a 2.58 ERA in four starts and who also entered the day MLB’s home run leader with 28, allowed seven runs, two hits and the four walks in a disastrous opening inning in which the righthander threw 41 pitches (20 strikes) as the Yankees sent 11 to the plate. The righthander, who homered twice the night before, joined Babe Ruth (Sept. 27-28, 1930) as the only players since 1900 to make a pitching start the day after a multi-homer game, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
The Angels led early when Phil Gosselin hit a two-run homer off Domingo German in the first (German allowed three runs and three hits over three innings (he did not come back after the first delay).
Ohtani walked DJ LeMahieu, Luke Voit and Gary Sanchez to open the bottom of the first before Stanton lined an RBI single to left to make it 2-1. Up stepped Gleyber Torres, in a 5-for-33 skid, who hit a soft liner to left, his RBI single tying it at 2-2. Rougned Odor struck out but Miguel Andujar’s slow roller to third resulted in a 5-3 putout, which brought in Sanchez to give the Yankees the lead at 3-2.
Ohtani hit Clint Frazier with a pitch to reload the bases and Brett Gardner walked to force in another run to make it 4-2. Angels manager Joe Maddon saw enough and called for righty Aaron Slegers to face LeMahieu. The third baseman cue-balled a 0-and-1 sinker off the end of his bat and down the first-base line, the bases-clearing double making it 7-2 and improving LeMahieu to 18 for his last 50 (.360).
Frazier, among those scoring on the double, would leave the game in the top of the third after, the Yankees said, having "complaints of dizziness." The outfielder, who has a history of concussion issues, is hitting .186 with a .630 OPS this season. He will be evaluated further Thursday.