The Yankees aren’t alone in trying to figure out why Aroldis Chapman is in the midst of the worst season of his career.
The left-hander is also searching for answers.
Manager Aaron Boone said Tuesday that Chapman is throwing the ball as well as he has since early last season — when he was last a dominant closer.
That seems like a long time ago. Chapman has a 5.48 ERA and a WHIP of 1.59 and did not pitch in the Subway Series finale Wednesday, a 3-2 Mets win at Citi Field.
“For me, this year has been a roller-coaster ride, unfortunately,’’ Chapman said through an interpreter before the game. “It’s definitely not something I wanted or saw coming. But it’s part of the sport. You have to deal with it and do everything you can to get out of it. I want to get all the way back and be the pitcher I’ve been in the past. The history is there. I just want to find a way to be the kind of pitcher I know I still am.”
All the numbers indicate otherwise. Chapman has struggled in nearly every facet of his game, with his command plummeting and hitters making more contact against him than ever before.
Since walking all three batters he faced on July 3 in his return from a stint on the injured list due to Achilles tendinitis, though, Chapman has been sharper.
Still, he has walked four in his eight appearances since then, allowing five runs on four hits, including a pair of homers, while striking out 10 in 7 ¹/₃ innings.
“The command of my pitches is there and the velocity is, too, so I definitely feel I’m moving in the right direction,’’ Chapman said. “It’s good to see.”
He also hasn’t had a save opportunity since returning from the IL, having lost the job to Clay Holmes.
“The preparation is the same and you try to do your job,’’ Chapman said. “There is a difference in the ninth inning with the game on the line, but it’s all about execution.”
The Yankees bullpen has been hit by injuries, with Chad Green and Michael King both out following season-ending surgeries, so Chapman will continue to get his chances, as general manager Brian Cashman said over the weekend in Baltimore.
“I’m just focused on doing my job,’’ Chapman said.