Michael King is currently on the opposite end of the spectrum as struggling thug Joey Gallo.
The Yankees’ longtime reserve ended Friday’s performance with seven straight strikeouts, falling a point short of the franchise record. When briefed about this after the game, King said he didn’t even realize he had K’d seven straight times and also dealt a playful punch to his manager for knocking him out before he had a chance for history .
“Oh, Boonie, come on!” he laughed. “I had no idea. I’ll take my three innings and jump.”
Northeast native King (King was born in Rochester, attended high school in Warwick, RI, and played collegiately at Boston College) is in the midst of a serious rise, similar to what Chad Green went through when he got a 2017 similar role filled Yankees. According to the king himself, a large part of his success can be attributed to his mindset.
“You have to have that confidence on the hill,” King said. “If you don’t do this, a lot of thugs can feel the lack of confidence.”
“He’s a little cocky out there, in a good way,” Aaron Boone added, while saying King’s three-inning star turn on Friday will keep him out for the rest of the Cleveland series.
King has an .84 ERA over 10.2 innings with 18 strikeouts and just two walks in five appearances.
CHAPMAN saves the day
Another member of the Yankees bullpen, one with almost 600 more MLB games under his belt than King, has also had a phenomenal start to the year.
Aroldis Chapman’s dramatic save on Friday night gave him 18 straight save opportunities. The streak dates back to July 20, 2021 and is his longest streak since delivering 22 straight mid-campaigns in 2018.
In his first eight appearances this season – four of which ended in saves – the Cuban closer conceded just two hits and zero earned runs. Chapman doesn’t have the same speed as he used to. His fastball has averaged 97.5 mph since 2019, still blink-and-you-miss-it stuff but not quite the triple digits that made him famous. Without the same kind of juice, the left-hander had to rely on some new tricks.
“For him, it’s the strike throwing that counts,” Boone said. “If it’s not a night where he throws 100 or 101, he gets split [finger] is a real hit for him. It has become a place where he can also land for a strike, not just chases. And then he has a lot of confidence in the slider. He now has three slots to lean on when not just overpowering you with power.”
https://www.twincities.com/2022/04/23/aaron-boone-raves-about-his-cocky-long-reliever-michael-king/ Aaron Boone raves about his “hilarious” long release Michael King – Twin Cities