Aroldis Chapman went from turning a corner to stuck in reverse.

On another night when the Yankees’ bullpen was thin for late-inning options, Chapman was nowhere to be found as relievers Clarke Schmidt and Wandy Peralta instead combined to hold off the Mets in a 4-2 win Tuesday in The Bronx.

After Schmidt relieved Frankie Montas in the sixth inning, manager Aaron Boone tried to get 3 ¹/₃ innings from him to close out the game. Schmidt made it three innings before loading the bases with two outs in the ninth inning, at which point Boone called on the lefty Peralta to get the final out.

Aroldis Chapman
Jason Szenes

Chapman had started to regain some trust with a nine-game stretch from July 26 to Aug. 13 (mostly medium- or lower-leverage spots) in which he did not allow a run and walked just one batter in 9 ¹/₃ innings. But in two appearances since (spanning one inning), he has walked four batters as his command issues have returned.

Asked Tuesday night if Chapman is no longer a high-leverage reliever for him, Boone still offered some support for the veteran lefty.

“I think he will be and can be,” Boone said. “We gotta still get him there though. After a couple tough ones, we’ll see. On a given night, we’re going to have to. I do feel like there was a long stretch there where he was starting to pitch in some of those spots, whether it be the sixth, seventh or eighth, whatever it’s been. But we gotta get him back to that point after a couple ones where he struggled.

“So that’s kind of just trying to work on that confidence and get him in those situations. There’s going to be games where we have no choice. The one thing about him is physically it’s there, physically we’ve seen it now in a long stretch. We just gotta get that next layer of confidence, especially when it gets a little wobbly for a hitter or two, to still find it.”

The Yankees are currently going closer by committee, with Clay Holmes and Scott Effross among the relievers on the injured list. Over their last three wins, Peralta, Jonathan Loaisiga and Lou Trivino have all closed out games.

 

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