Aroldis Chapman implodes as Yankees lose crusher to Angels

Aroldis Chapman blew a four run lead in the ninth after giving up a grand slam to Jared Walsh as the Yankees suffered a crushing 11-8 loss to the Angels at the Stadium.

Shohei Ohtani spotted the Yankees seven runs before the first inning ended Wednesday night.

Eight innings, two rain delays and some five hours later, Aroldis Chapman and Lucas Luetge returned the favor to place the dagger and twist it in a downright brutal loss.

After Chapman walked the bases loaded and allowed a game-tying grand slam, Luetge relieved him and gave up three more runs to send the Yankees to an 11-8 loss to the Angels.

“Terrible loss,” manager Aaron Boone said.

“It’s about as bad as it gets right there,” added Giancarlo Stanton. “We gotta pick this s–t up. That’s it.”

The Yankees (41-39) had led 7-2 after the first inning and entered the ninth with an 8-4 lead. It served as the latest stunner in their inconsistent season, which has packed plenty of drama into their four-game set against the Angels (39-41) before it wraps up Thursday. On Monday, Boone opened the series by saying the Yankees’ “season is on the line” before a fourth straight loss. Tuesday, general manager Brian Cashman said the Yankees “suck right now,” before they exploded for an 11-5 win.

A frustrated Aroldis Chapman looks up to the sky after giving up a game-tying grand slam in the ninth inning in the Yankees’ crushing 11-8 loss to the Angels.

Wednesday, Chapman was booed off the mound by the remaining fans at Yankee Stadium after giving up the grand slam to Jared Walsh on a slider. It marked the second time he had coughed up a lead in as many appearances — this one dropping the Yankees to 8 ½ games back of first place in the AL East.

“The big problem is the control of my fastball,” said Chapman, who was pitching for the first time since blowing a save against the Royals a week ago. “[I] got to find myself again with that pitch and come back and return to be Chapman that started the season.”

Luetge relieved him and issued a walk and a single before pinch-hitter Luis Rengifo came through with a two-run, two-out single to put the Angels ahead 10-8. Taylor Ward added an RBI double as the Angels batted around, leading to the crowd mustering a “Fire Boone” chant before the inning mercifully ended.

“Talk is cheap right now,” Boone said. “We need to go out and play full games and start hammering some people.”

Stanton agreed that the time for talks has already passed.

“At the end of the day, [if] we don’t turn up ‘W’s,’ you can talk f–king until you’re blue in the face,” Stanton said.

Long before disaster struck, the Yankees had discovered the best way to contain Ohtani the hitter: quickly knock out Shohei Ohtani the pitcher.

After the Angels two-way star had crushed three homers in the first two games of the series, he took the mound Wednesday and gave up a career-high seven runs and recorded just two outs. The Angels’ leadoff hitter threw 41 pitches and walked four batters as his highly anticipated Yankee Stadium pitching debut ended in a fizzle.

Domingo German was hardly sharp himself, giving up three runs in three innings, though he left with a 7-3 lead.

The game featured a pair of rain delays — the first lasting 42 minutes in the bottom of the third and the second taking 91 minutes after the top of the fifth — with thunderstorms rolling through The Bronx.

After the lengthy second delay, which the Yankees entered with a 7-4 lead, Darren O’Day and Jonathan Loaisiga (two) combined for three perfect innings to protect the lead. Brett Gardner padded it in the eighth with a solo home run to make it 8-4 before the ninth inning from hell — a harsh reward for the crowd that stuck around to see it all fall apart.

“Feel terrible for them,” Boone said. “They deserve better than this, especially staying late. We’re past one in the morning, whatever we are, hanging in there to want to see us finish that off. Obviously we certainly share in their frustration.”

This story originally appeared on: NyPost - Author:Greg Joyce

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