PITTSBURGH — Aroldis Chapman hit 102 miles per hour with his fastball Tuesday night and threw his first perfect inning since April 30. He was the left-handed fireball thrower the Yankees were hoping to get back after spending five weeks on the injured reserve list with tendinitis in his ankle.
“I mean, it’s more in line with what we’ve seen in his work. And hopefully that’s a big step for him and gets him moving,” Aaron Boone said after the Yankees’ 5-2 loss to the Pirates at PNC Park. “I thought it was really good, actually. And yeah, hopefully one of the good things to come out tonight.
Chapman needed 11 pitches to complete the eighth inning, striking out Daniel Vogelbach and Michael Chavis on pitches and getting a steal from Oneil Cruz. It reached 102 miles per hour.
In his first appearance back from IL, Chapman looked terrible. He walked the three batters he faced, then, with his head down, left the mound and met Boone on the grass before continuing to the dugout. Boone said they were concerned about his confidence.
Chapman has struggled most of this season.
Chapman was in a great position at the start of 2021, but since then has struggled. In 17 appearances this season, before sustaining an Achilles/ankle injury, the Cuban native had the highest ERA (3.86) and lowest strikeout rate (22.7%) of her career. His fastball speed, which has been declining since 2017, averages 97.1 miles per hour. The average speed on all his other locations is also down.