NEW YORK — Aroldis Chapman strikes again.
With a one-run lead in the top of the seventh, looking to close out a much-needed victory for the Yankees in Game 1 of a doubleheader against the Mets, the closer promptly blew the save, allowing a game-tying home run to slugger Pete Alonso.
Taken out of the game two batters later—after a hit by pitch and a walk—Chapman watched helplessly from the dugout as the Mets blew the game wide open, putting up six runs in the frame.
When the dust settled, the Yankees had lost 10-5 in seven innings, another unprecedented collapse and a new low for a fourth-place club that's been living at rock bottom for weeks.
Taking the loss with another three earned runs allowed, Chapman's season continues to deteriorate at a rapid pace. The closer started the year with 18 scoreless innings. Now, he's given up 14 earned runs in his nine appearances, seeing his ERA jump from 0.37 to 4.71 on the season.
Chapman wasn't the only problem on Sunday afternoon. New York's offense jumped out early, doing their part, but Gerrit Cole allowed the Mets to come right back.
The ace allowed the Mets to load the bases in the fourth frame before Tomas Nido and Brandon Nimmo delivered RBI singles. That's when manager Aaron Boone pulled the plug, summoning Jonathan Loaisiga from the bullpen.
Loaisiga promptly served up a game-tying single, off the bat of Francisco Lindor, but would settle down, getting out of the inning without any additional damage. Cole, on the other hand, allowed four earned runs over 3.1 frames, his second start in a row where he's let his team down.
After the Yankees took the lead in the fifth on a wild pitch, Chapman had his chance to get back on track and nail down his 17th save of the year. A hanging slider to Alonso with two strikes tied the game.
From there, it all unraveled for New York. Left-hander Lucas Luetge replaced Chapman and proceeded to allow four hits to the next five batters he faced. The big blow was a two-run double (featuring some fan interference at the left-field wall) off the bat of Jose Peraza.
The loss was reminiscent of Chapman's last catastrophic appearance, allowing a game-tying grand slam against the Angels less than a week ago. After the loss on Sunday, Boone acknowledged that Chapman's role as New York's closer will be evaluated.
The Bombers have just a few hours to brush off another embarrassing effort and try to bounce back with a win in Game 2 of the doubleheader. If they don't, and get swept on the day, they'll fall below .500.
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