That changed when Bobby Dalbec homered off the lefty closer with one out in the bottom of the ninth. Chapman then hit Kevin Plawecki with a pitch to put the potential tying run on base, before rebounding by getting Jose Iglesias and Kiké Hernandez for the save.
Chapman’s four-seam fastball averaged 96.8 mph — lower than his season average of 98.3 mph, according to Baseballsavant.com.
Manager Aaron Boone said afterward that Chapman was “fine physically” and not dealing with any of the fingernail issues that have plagued him at times this season.
“We’ve seen, as he’s come back and started to throw the ball better this year, sometimes it takes a few [pitches] to spike up his velocity,’’ Boone said. “It’s all about getting locked in mechanically. That affects his velo and affects his command.”
The Falcons have allowed an NFL-high 80 points in two games, though that bloated statistic is a bit misleading, as 14 of those points came off two pick-six interception returns. Still, there will be opportunities to make plays down the field for the Giants in Sunday’s game at MetLife Stadium — especially with starting cornerback A.J. Terrell in the concussion protocol and out for the Falcons.
There must be more of what the Giants got on their prettiest scoring play in two games — Daniel Jones’ 33-yard pinpoint deep ball into the waiting arms of Darius Slayton in Washington, after Slayton beat cornerback William Jackson off the line.
“It was a good opportunity, a coverage we felt like we had a chance to get after,’’ Slayton told The Post. “Obviously I tried to win my route and DJ threw a great ball and laid it in right over my shoulder, and I was able to make a catch and get two feet in.’’
A key to the play connecting at all was Slayton getting a step on Jackson and winning quickly off the line of scrimmage.
“You don’t want the quarterback to look out there and see you getting jammed up, and he won’t throw you the ball,’’ Slayton said.
Despite this immediate advantage, Jackson recovered and his coverage was tight. Just not tight enough, as the ball was placed perfectly. It was a rare case when the Giants did everything correctly and were rewarded with a touchdown.
“That’s just pro football, the margin is always this much,’’ Slayton said, holding two fingers one inch apart. “It’s always a close margin. He’s a fast guy, I’m a fast guy, so obviously he was able to close a little bit. Better ball, better offense on that play.’’
The Falcons will be without starters on both sides of the ball, as Terrell and WR Russell Gage (ankle) are out for this game.
The Giants were the first team in the NFL to drop to 0-2 because they lost in Week 2 on a Thursday night. They are the only winless team in the NFC East. Just six teams since 1980 made the playoffs after starting out 0-3.
“How bad is it being one game out of the division lead?’’ safety Logan Ryan said. “Our whole division is 1-1, right? So, everyone loses, and we win, guess what? We’re division leaders next week. I don’t know how damaging it is with the playoffs, we’re one game behind in the division.When we get to November, December football, then this stuff will start adding up, but right now, we’ve got to make improvements, and we’ve got to find a way to close out these games so we can stick with the division leaders.’’
The Giants added two players off their practice squad in advance of Sunday’s game. They signed WR C.J. Board and activated C Jonotthan Harrison and put LB Cam Brown (hamstring) on injured reserve.Board was elevated to the roster before each of the first two games and served as the kickoff returner
Saquon Barkley, coming off reconstructive knee surgery, played 29 and 58 offensive snaps the first two games, good for 48 percent and 84 percent, respectively. Do not expect him to take another big step forward, as far as time on the field, but his workload (13 rushing attempts in Washington) figures to increase.
SHEBOYGAN, Wis. — As expected because of the large deficit his team is facing, European captain Padraig Harrington has front-loaded his singles lineup for Sunday’s final day of the 43rd Ryder Cup matches with his best, most experienced players.
Europe will enter trailing 11-5, and no team ever has overcome a deficit that high. So Harrington is leasing off with Rory McIlroy playing Xander Schauffele, followed by Shane Lowry against Patrick Cantlay and world No. 1 Jon Rahm against Scottie Scheffler.
From there, Sergio Garcia will play Bryson DeChambeau, followed by Viktor Hovland against Collin Morikawa, Paul Casey against Dustin Johnson, Bernd Weisberger against Brooks Koepka, Ian Poulter (who has a 5-0-1 career singles record) against Tony Finau, Tyrrell Hatton against Justin Thomas, Lee Westwood against Harris English, Tommy Fleetwood against Jordan Spieth and Matt Fitzpatrick against Daniel Berger.
“It’s hard to put a lineup out,’’ Stricker said. “You have so many possibilities and you sort of have an idea of what they are going to do, and I’m sure they have an idea of what we are going to do, as well. But I just feel so good about all 12 of my guys.’’
Three years ago, Johnson was 1-3 in the U.S. Ryder Cup loss to Europe in France. After Saturday’s two sessions at Whistling Straits, Johnson, at 37 the senior member of the U.S. team, won both of his matches to get to 4-0 for the week with Sunday’s singles looming.
The last American player to win each of the first four sessions was Larry Nelson in 1979. Johnson has a chance to tie Nelson’s mark of 5-0 from that 1979 Cup.
“Everything’s been working for Dustin,’’ said Morikawa, who’s paired with Johnson to win two matches. “He’s a veteran. He’s the oldest guy on our team, and it’s a very quiet leadership, but he makes his presence known. When he needs to say something, he says something.”
“We met before the six captain’s picks were announced. He spoke his mind. He’s going to be there when you really need it. And if you don’t, he’s going to let you do your thing, and that’s what we did this week.’’
No one is having a more miserable Ryder Cup than McIlroy, who’s 0-3 after losing with Poulter to Johnson and Morikawa in fourballs and is on a five-match losing streak, dating to 2018 in France.
“Obviously disappointing,’’ McIlroy said. “Disappointing not to contribute a point for the team yet. So hopefully just go out tomorrow and try my best to get a point, and hopefully we can rally and at last give them something to maybe sweat about tomorrow in the middle of the afternoon.’’
Garcia encouraged McIlroy with a few words during the matches Saturday and expressed support for his struggling teammate afterward.
“I told him the absolute truth,’’ Garcia said. “I told him that not only me but the whole team is proud of him no matter if he goes 5-0 or 0-5. that we love him and that we are always proud of the effort that he makes and the heart that he puts into his golf and into the team. It’s as simple as that.”
“Obviously, it’s not the week he was hoping for, without a doubt, not the week we were hoping for — all of us, at least till now. But we are still very proud of every single one of our teammates.’’
Garcia has had a front-row seat to what has been a virtuoso performance by his partner, Rahm, who’s produced 3 ½ points, the most ever in a Ryder Cup by a No. 1 ranked player in the world.
“More than anything, so proud to have a partner like this one,’’ Garcia said. “I mean, this afternoon he was unbelievable. I was No. 1 spectator watching a great guy do great thing after great thing after great thing. It was awesome to be a part of.’’
Said Rahm: “I’ve been making every putt that I need to, and then some. When you do things like that, it gives you a lot of confidence.’’
DJ LeMahieu has been managing an injury to his hip/groin area the past few weeks. Friday night, the issue limited the infielder to the point that manager Aaron Boone felt it was time to give him a rest.
“Hopefully it’s something that a day will help him out and be back in there,” Boone said before the Yankees beat the Red Sox, 5-3, at Fenway Park on Saturday.
Boone said the injury has lingered and had worsened in recent days. The manager doesn’t believe it has impacted LeMahieu swinging the bat.
“I think it’s more moving around,” Boone said. “In some ways, it kind of affects everything, but I feel like at the plate he’s in a pretty good spot.”
In LeMahieu’s place, Boone started Rougned Odor at third place rather than inserting Tyler Wade in at shortstop and moving Gio Urshela over.
Odor was 0-for-3 with a strikeout on Saturday night before Wade pinch-hit for him in the ninth inning. Wade struck out swinging.
Odor is defensively challenged — he has committed 13 errors this year entering Saturday — but he can provide power, as his 15 home runs in part-time duty show.
“Nestor [Cortes Jr.] is more of a fly-ball guy, wanting to have Wade’s flexibility off the bench,” Boone said. “I just decided to go that way.”
It has been a frustrating season for LeMahieu after signing a six-year, $90 million deal to remain in The Bronx. Following a terrific first 195 games as a Yankee, in which he posted a WAR of 8.9 and led the American League in hitting in the COVID-19-shortend season of 2020, he hasn’t found that same form.
This season, he is slashing just .268/.349/.363 with a mediocre-at-best OPS of .711 and just 10 home runs. He has an 98 OPS+, which is below league average for players at his position. He hasn’t finished with a batting average or OPS this low since 2014.
He has been more productive offensively in the second half of the season, notching a .748 OPS in August and batting .278 so far in September. Over his past nine games entering Saturday, LeMahieu has hit safely six times and has gone 10-for-37.
Given the injury-enforced absence of Andy Dalton, promising rookie Justin Fields is expected to draw his initial regular-season start for Chicago … but unless you’re John Elway, experience comes at a stiff price. The Browns will be without wide receiver Jarvis Landry (knee), but Odell Beckham Jr. is expected back for Cleveland.
Falcons (+2.5) over GIANTS
Must grant QB Matt Ryan a puncher’s chance here, if he can keep turnovers to a minimum. The Giants continue to have meaningful point-production issues behind QB Daniel Jones.
BRONCOS (-10) over Jets
Off the Patriots’ demonstration of how to stuff Gang Green with minimum strain, the Jets now face the Broncos, who have their own ball-control QB artist in Teddy Bridgewater, a master of the precise midrange passing game.
BILLS (-8) over Redskins
Buffalo has made the most out of its defensive abilities (see: Bills 35, Dolphins 0, in Week 2), and doubt that the redoubtable Bills will stumble to any sustained extent against the overmatched Football Team.
Ravens (-8) over LIONS
Detroit youth movement results in plenty of newcomers manning their stop unit. Given their sustained dedication to the ground game, John Harbaugh can dictate tempo — and the likely result, as well.
TITANS (-5.5) over Colts
Give Carson Wentz points for heart after he gutted out Friday’s practice on two bad ankles. Would rather back Ryan Tannehill as an underdog, but reluctant to embrace either Jacob Eason or Brett Hundley as alternatives.
Chargers (+7) over CHIEFS
This should even be more fun than the original AFL versions of the early 1960s, given the superior competitive abilities of the modern contestants. This should go to the wire, since the Chiefs defense is short of the host’s championship standards.
PATRIOTS (-2.5) over Saints
Hazardous call, because of the raw inherent abilities of the New Orleans roster — but given that this is the date for the Pats’ Julian Edelman tribute, a nod to the emotional boost provided by the associated ceremonies.
STEELERS (-3) over Bengals
Legitimate respectability maintained by the Steelers can’t be sustained indefinitely. The Rooneys have long dominated the series, but Joe Burrow should advance a meaningful changing of the guard.
Cardinals (-7.5) over JAGUARS
While high draft choice Trevor Lawrence builds up his balance in the experience bank, the home side’s defense writes checks the offense simply can’t honor. Cards QB Kyler Murray continues to thrive against dubious defenses, and the band plays on.
RAIDERS (-4) over Dolphins
With 29-year-old Jacoby Brissett setting the table with turnovers, the homestanding Dolphins quickly fell out of touch with the visiting Bills, losing by a full five TDs while enduring a shutout. Out of the frying pan into the fire, Sea Mammals now compelled to play Vegas.
RAMS (+1) over Buccaneers
The Bucs are vacating Tampa en route to La La Land. Their assignment: Beat Matthew Stafford. With both sides undefeated and the Rams more than pleased with their new QB, this looms as a stiff battle, but the Rams are hardly unarmed.
Seahawks (-1.5) over VIKINGS
It’s tough to intimidate veteran ace QB Russell Wilson. Don’t be surprised if this is another tall task Vikings signal caller Kirk Cousins is no cinch to master. Vikes RB Dalvin Cook will run up ground yards — but will they be enough?
49ERS (-3.5) over Packers
You like Aaron Rodgers? Good on ya … but we try not to get too giddy about NFC North QBs leaving their region to engage western foes. So long as Jimmy Garoppolo stays healthy, not looking to fade him, in this spot.
Eagles (+4) over COWBOYS
Perhaps it shouldn’t be, but for many, the Philadelphia defense has proven to be one of the league’s surprise packages. The speculators are well aware of the visitors’ opportunistic stop unit, having backed them with vigor in early-week action.
“This guy is dangerous. If you’re in a home and he breaks into your home and you have a gun, blow him out the door cause he’s like a rabid animal,” Nassau County Sheriff Bill Leeper said, according to the paper.
“He will kill you with his mindset. What he did to that deputy, was uncalled for, unnecessary and he needs to pay for it.”
“Super anxious,” is how rookie quarterback Zach Wilson, who was intercepted four times last week, described it.
They get to return to the field Sunday at Empower Field at Mile High against the Broncos (2-0). Jets head coach Robert Saleh said the team is dying to play a game after last week’s disappointment.
“I think we all are, I know I am,” Saleh said. “It felt like we played a really good brand of football. We just turned it over four times, which in the history of football you’ll never win. But I think I speak for the entire organization that we’re just champing at the bit to get back on the football field and try to showcase who we are.”
It won’t be easy. This will be the home opener for the Broncos, who have beaten the Giants and Jaguars to start the season. The stadium will be rocking, and the Broncos are near the top in the NFL in both offense and defense.
After a tough loss, Saleh’s team can show its character with how it comes out Sunday.
“Every time you step on the field, you’re creating your identity, you’re establishing who you are,” Saleh said. “Right now, these guys have shown resolve, they’ve shown to be able to bounce back and to take coaching and to be engaged and to ask questions, so that hasn’t stopped. You’re seeing a group of men that have shown no signs of quit and, we shouldn’t, it’s our first two games of the year. Yeah, the deeper we get, the more the identity is going to shape itself and our style and the way we respond to negative things.”
The spotlight will be especially bright on Wilson, who played terribly against New England. The coaches have emphasized for him to play smarter and it’s OK to be “boring,” as Saleh said.
“I don’t think it’s necessarily challenging,” Wilson said of playing boring. “It’s just being smart with the ball and then understanding sometimes those situations in games like, there wasn’t check downs in some of those interceptions, right. It’s not just, ‘Hey, check the ball down.’ It’s, ‘Hey, be smart with the ball, how can you throw it away or get rid of it?’ That’s what I’m applying to this next week, it’s just trying to learn and get better.”
Severino threw two hitless innings of relief, striking out four and pumping his fastball up to 98 mph in his second outing back after missing nearly two years following Tommy John surgery.
“You could tell he relished being out there in this kind of atmosphere and this kind of game with a lot on the line,” manager Aaron Boone said. “Another huge step for him in making his way back.”
Showing what kind of a weapon he can be for the Yankees down the stretch and possibly into the playoffs, Severino earned his first win since Sept. 22, 2019.
“Being there late in that game, how they gave it to me, it was really huge,” Severino said. “I was there, I was comfortable, I was throwing strikes. That was the main thing.”
Boone called on Severino to start the seventh inning, with the Red Sox leading 2-1. After striking out Bobby Dalbec on a slider, he issued a walk to Kevin Plawecki. But he came back to get Jose Iglesias to ground into a fielder’s choice and then struck out Kiké Hernandez on a changeup.
Severino returned to the mound in the bottom of the eighth, after Giancarlo Stanton’s monstrous grand slam had given the Yankees a 5-2 lead, and came through with a shutdown inning. He struck out Hunter Renfroe on a 97 mph heater before hitting Rafael Devers in the back. But he got Xander Bogaerts to fly out to just in front of the Green Monster and followed up by striking out JD Martinez with another changeup on his 37th pitch to strand Devers at first.
“It’s nasty now. It’s a great pitch,” Severino said of his changeup. “It was moving like crazy, so I said, ‘Why not use it?’ This team knows me. We play a lot and I know it’s going to be fastball/slider. So I wanted to throw that changeup because they haven’t seen it in a while.”
On Tuesday against the Rangers, Severino pitched two scoreless innings in a six-run game, with his fastball averaging 94.5 mph and topping out at 95.3.
In a higher-leverage situation Saturday, Severino’s fastball had even more life to it, averaging 95.5 mph and topping out at 97.9.
“Actually I didn’t even think coming into the game I was going to throw that hard,” Severino said. “I thought it was going to be the same. But after a couple pitches, I said, ‘OK, I feel pretty good.’ Once in a while, I would throw a pitch and look to the gun to see