What kept them anchored was the man standing on the pitcher’s mound: Aroldis Chapman
Chapman, the newest Yankee, who became eligible Monday after serving a 30-game domestic violence suspension
has brought a buzz to the late innings at the often somnolent stadium
with a fastball that rides steadily at 100 miles an hour.
Chapman enters through the bullpen gate, he is accompanied
beat-thumping music medley and a montage of flaming scoreboard graphics,
which awaken the crowd as would one of his fastballs under the chin.
though Yankee Stadium is empty, it’s like there’s life back in it,
Elan Wilkenfeld said Tuesday as he stood in the right-field corner with
his friend Ross Rubin, watching Chapman work the final inning of a 10-7 Yankees
a team that has been competitive but not dynamic — and devoid of much
personality — in recent seasons, Chapman may be the Yankees’ most
captivating presence as they try to crawl out of last place in the
American League East.
because he is a closer — used almost exclusively when the Yankees have a
lead but not too large a lead — it is uncertain each night if Chapman
Thursday night, Gregg Fein, who was seated in the right-field
bleachers, peered down into the bullpen with his two young sons to watch
Chapman warm up while the Yankees extended their lead with two late
runs on the way to a 7-3 victory.