The Yankees looked like they were about to have an easy ending to their 11th straight win on Tuesday night against the Atlanta Braves — but even though they ended up with the 5-4 victory, it ended anything but easily.
After Aroldis Chapman came in at the start of the bottom of the ninth and went groundout, single and strikeout, the win looked like it was in the bag. But then a full count that turned into a walk and another full count that turn into an infield single suddenly loaded up the bases.
Chapman’s third straight full count resulted in another walk that brought in a run and had the Yankees in a load of trouble with Freddie Freeman coming to the plate.
And thankfully for the Bombers, his strong August continued. Peralta got Freeman down to yet another full count before the reigning NL MVP sent a fly ball out to left field and into Joey Gallo‘s glove to end the game.
“Tremendous, just gutsy,” Boone said of Peralta’s pitching. “Freddie’s putting together a tremendous at-bat, keeps filling up the strike zone. Just a classic matchup there and Wandy just kept making pitches. You know Freddie’s gonna control the zone, so he’s out of the zone…he just kept making pitches. …As tough a situation you can probably be brought into…and he executed. Just a tremendous job by him.”
“It’s exciting, I felt really good in the game,” Peralta added. “When the game is on the line, you’re facing a really good hitter…you just focus, really focus on executing pitch by pitch, making sure you do your job. When you go into the game, you want to have a sense of urgency to get the job done.”
Peralta now has a perfect 0.00 ERA over 11.2 innings in the month of August. He’s also got five saves on the season — three of which came as a Yankee. He’s been a key member of the bullpen since the Yankees acquired him from the San Francisco Giants midseason.
Boone said he knew what kind of player they were getting when the organization made the trade.
“I felt like this guy is competitive, he’s fearless and he’s got the arsenal and the stuff to, I think, be a really good reliever in this game,” he said.
Chapman needs to shake off his struggles if he wants to remain the Yankees’ closer — especially since Zack Britton may be heading for surgery soon.
But for now, the Yankees are the hottest team in baseball, winners of 11 straight for the first time since 1995 and have a league best 19-4 record in the month of August.
Source: Yahoo Sports