He added: “It’s about as frustrating as I’ve been throughout my career right now. I think a lot of it’s mental. The physical part’s there. I think now it’s like a mental block, getting over that and trusting my stuff.”
A mental glitch by the Yankees’ bullpen allowed the Rangers to tie the score. With the bases loaded, Betances had a 1-2 count on Jurickson Profar. Looking to end the Rangers’ rally, Betances lifted his glove, looked down at Profar and then quickly glanced over to his right to see Rougned Odor dancing down the third-base line with an aggressive lead. Betances shuffled his left leg and then his right ever so slightly, drawing a balk call from the home plate umpire Ben May.
“That’s just out of the corner of his eye and not reacting properly right away,” Boone said. “That’s just where you got to see it and just step off immediately and not flinch.”
Betances struck out Profar and earned the win thanks to Andujar’s home run, but closing out the game was not easy. F or the second time in three days, Chapman came unhinged during the ninth inning.
Showers fell sporadically throughout the afternoon, but by the time Chapman trotted out to the mound, heavy rains began to dampen the field. Chapman had a 1-2 count on pinch-hitter Isiah Kiner-Falefa, but threw his next three pitches far out of the strike zone. After Kiner-Falefa walked, Chapman reached down and grabbed a large clump of dirt to dry his hand, then struck out Choo.
His control problems did not disappear completely. Chapman loaded the bases before striking out Profar for his 30th save of the season.
Chapman said he felt better pitching on Saturday than he did on Thursday, when he walked two batters and did not light up the radar gun with his usual zest. Boone said he thought his closer pitched “O.K.” and took “a step in the right direction.”
“It’s not going to always be easy,” Boone said, “and it’s hard for us right now, but we did a lot of good things today and found a way to win a game today when it was hard. Considering the conditions, just considering where we’re at right now, to grind one out there is nice.”