While people are questioning the struggles of Dellin Betances and Aroldis Chapman, the answer is pretty simple. They haven't been pitching in many games.
Maybe it's tough to make that excuse to Betances, but Chapman just came off the disable list.
Chapman missed most of May and the beginning of June. That's almost rebooting your whole mid-season form. Right now, he's pitching like he's in the middle of spring training. And since he's return, he's only pitched seven games. Not much.
I've noticed Chapman's slider hasn't been sharp, since coming off the D.L in June 18th. He needs that pitch, just as much as he needs that fastball.
So we gotta give Chapman a past. You're throwing him into the fire in a pennant chase, in mid July, while he hasn't pitched in nearly two months.
Last night's 6-3 win against the Toronto Blue Jays, Chapman pitched the ninth in a 6-1 lead and gave up 2 runs in 3 hits. It wasn't a save situation but manager Joe Girardi had to give him work.
Same goes for Betances - he hasn't been getting much work.
In this first half to the Yankee season, when the Yankees were on fire, winning every game, they were scoring nearly 10 runs a game. They hardly needed Betances in those games.
Last year in July 3th, Betances already pitched in 41 games. But in July 3th of this year, he's only pitched in 30 games. Also he's had lots of long layoffs.
In April, he has a layoff from April 16th to 22nd. Then in June, there was a stretch where he didn't pitch from June 15th through the 21st.
The best thing for both Betances and Chapman is to continue to throw them out there. You have to. The Yankees will either make the or miss the postseason with those two. That's just the way it goes.
If you asked me if there's anything to mechanically fix, I'd say Betances needs to learn how to get outs, when he doesn't have the strikeout pitch. He's got to learn how to get the ground ball out; pounding a batter in the hands for a groundout to first or make the batter popup for an out.
As for Chapman, he needs to learn how to throw that slider more. He's got a good one, too. If he can place that slider down and in to right-handed batters, just like Andrew Miller does, he could be even more dominant.