The three musket-like arms at the end of the Yankees bullpen will not be perfect every outing. As demonstrated by Sunday’s 7-5 victory over the White Sox, they don’t have to be.
In the seventh inning, Dellin Betances couldn’t hold a 5-4 lead, leaving him technically with a blown save, but he became the winning pitcher after Chase Headley’s RBI double in the bottom of the inning gave the Yankees a 6-5 lead.
Carlos Beltran had made it 5-4 Yankees in the bottom of the sixth when he hit a two-run shot for his 400th career home run.
Andrew Miller and closer Aroldis Chapman each threw a scoreless inning and the only thing left to protect was Betances.
“To be perfect, you know, it’s tough,” Chapman, who earned his third save, said through a translator. “Most likely from time to time you will see that somebody’s going to allow a run. And today it was Dellin. But we still got to pick each other up at the end of the day and try to win the game.”
In the seventh, Jose Abreu and Todd Frazier singled and Melky Cabrera doubled in Abreu with the tying run. Betances avoided further trouble by getting Brett Lawrie on a grounder to short and striking out Avisail Garcia and Alex Avila.
“I feel like they got three well-placed hits,” Betances said. “First guy, Abreu, I had him on two strikes, he just found a hole. Frazier, I felt like I threw a few strikes the umpire didn’t he give it to me so I fell behind [and] ended up throwing a fastball, he got a hit. And Melky got a hit down the line. After that, I was just trying to keep the game tied, make pitches. At that point, it’s a tied game, that’s the game right there. If I give up those two runs, it’s a different ballgame. I had to make pitches.”
Joe Girardi found nothing wrong with Bettances’ outing, saying: “He had second and third basically with nobody out. And he did what he had to do to get a groundout and two strikeouts and did a tremendous job. So we give him a lot of credit for that.”
Miller said of Betances, “I think who he is as a pitcher is the way he finished that inning. He was awesome, even though he gave up a run today.
“Expectations are a little crazy right now,” Miller said of the trio. “Hopefully, we’ve earned that. And hopefully, go out there and back it up. It’s been the talk since we traded for Aroldis but you need to go out to do it in a game for it to matter at all.”