NEW YORK — Joe Girardi’s hope was to stay away from Aroldis Chapman on Monday night because the closer had appeared in two of the club’s last three games.

But that’s the only reason.

The Yankees’ manager made clear, as he did Sunday night after Chapman blew the save in a 3-2 loss, he plans on making no changes in the back end of his bullpen.

“He’s our closer,” Girardi said. “I have a ton of belief in him.”

Chapman has a 3.48 ERA with 15 saves this season, including back-to-back appearances Friday and Sunday in which he allowed a combined three runs and four walks.

But lost a bit in some of the hysteria surrounding those outings was that in his previous 13 games before Friday night, Chapman, while clearly not as dominant this season as in years past, still had a 1.42 ERA with 15 strikeouts and six walks in 122/3 innings.

“You look at all the guys in the bullpen in the last month, six weeks, have you seen only one guy struggle?” Girardi said. “They’ve all had their struggles at some point … we have a lot of quality arms down there. They’re not going to be perfect.”

Chapman did get a rest Monday, with Dellin Betances picking up a save in the Yankees’ 4-2 win over the Mets.

• CC Sabathia hopes to come off the disabled list as soon as he is eligible Saturday.

The Yankees’ left-hander threw a bullpen session before Monday’s series opener against the Mets and said his right knee felt much better.

Sabathia left a start at Toronto in pain last Tuesday with knee inflammation. The following day he had cortisone, platelet rich plasma and Synvisc injections.

He threw about 30 pitches Monday and plans to throw another bullpen in a few days.

NATIONALS: Right-hander Stephen Strasburg struck out five and allowed a run on three hits and one walk in a rehab start for the Class A Potomac Nationals.

Facing the Salem Red Sox, Strasburg showed good command of his fastball and good movement on his curveball. The plan was for Strasburg to throw about 75 pitches in five innings.

Strasburg has been on the disabled list with a nerve impingement in his right elbow since July 27.

ASTROS-WHITE SOX TRADE: Houston acquired reliever Tyler Clippard from Chicago for a player to be named or cash considerations in a trade announced late Sunday night.

Clippard was traded from the Yankees to the White Sox in a seven-player deal on July 18. The 32-year-old right-hander went 1-1 with a 1.80 ERA and two saves in 11 appearances with the rebuilding White Sox.

METS: Jeurys Familia will begin a minor-league rehab assignment Tuesday in the Gulf Coast League.