Aaron Boone praises Yankees bullpen after stellar performance Monday

·3 min read
Joely Rodriguez
Joely Rodriguez

Like everything else with the Yankees, the team’s bullpen has been streaky all year.

In the bullpen's last 22 games prior to Monday night, their 5.22 ERA ranked fifth-worst in MLB. Before that, they had a 3.48 ERA, the fifth-best in baseball.

But on Monday, as manager Aaron Boone put it, “the bullpen really picked us up.” They allowed just two hits in 4.2 scoreless innings, en route to a 4-3 win.

Perhaps the most key performer out of the pen was Chad Green, who in his last three outings had allowed a home run that gave the opposition a lead. He retired all five batters he faced on Monday.

“Greeny had a few days where he was down, so I think he came in fresh and I thought threw the ball really well through the five hitters he faced,” Boone said.

Green said he felt he could have used those four days off.

“I think at this point in the season, I don’t want to make excuses or anything like that – my body has felt pretty good all year,” he said. “We’re all gonna go through points where we struggle a little bit or stuff like that, but I felt like I was in a good place. It’s always nice to have a few days just to reset mentally as well as physically.”

Clay Holmes continued his dominance, and the only hit Joely Rodriguez allowed went about 50 feet.

“Holmes I thought did a really good job of being pitch efficient enough in his first inning of work to go back out there and face those righties again to start the eighth there, and then Joely came in and did a great job,” Boone said. “He gets to two strikes and hits a little nubber from [Nathaniel] Lowe, the guy he’s in there to face who gets the little infield hit against him, but he did a great job with [Nick] Solak.”

Before he was traded to the Yankees, Rodriguez had a 5.93 ERA with the Rangers. Since joining the Yankees, he owns a 2.30 ERA, allowing runs in just three of his 19 games with New York.

“He’s a problem for lefties. He’s probably – of all our lefties down there, he’s the one true left-on-left that we want that matchup any time it’s their best left-handed hitter,” Boone said. “If we can get him in that situation, he’s got the stuff, and just his delivery that creates a real problem for left-handed hitters. But he’s done a good job with righties, too."

Added Boone:

"He’s an important guy down there. And he’s unique to everyone else that we have. Most of our other lefties, for example, are fairly neutral split guys, and obviously our righties down there, he’s our one guy that we like against their toughest lefties.”

Aroldis Chapman retired the side in order to preserve the win and get his 28th save of the season. It was also his fifth-straight scoreless outing, and he seems to have turned it up a notch as of late.

Boone has noticed that Chapman is pitching with more confidence.

“I’ve felt that way for the last several times with Chappy," Boone said. "I feel like he’s in a much better spot. I feel like he’s building that confidence. Strike throwing with all his pitches- the ability to strike the fastball, to drive that fastball on the arm-side lane is important for him. That kind of sets up the splitter and the slider off of that, but his strike throwing has just been better, and I’ve felt that way the last several, frankly.”

If the Yankees want to make a run at a Wild Card spot, they’ll need their bullpen to pitch like they did in the first five months of the season.

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