No, Dellin Betances doesn’t seem to be fixed. And it seems highly unlikely that he’ll get another opportunity to figure things out during this postseason.
The struggling righthander came on for the ninth inning Monday night in Game 3 of the ALCS, protecting an 8-0 lead. Ten pitches later, Betances was being booed off the mound after walking the first two batters.
“It’s tough,” he said. “I can’t keep putting my teammates in those situations. My job is to have a clean inning . . . Next thing you know, [Tommy] Kahnle has to clean up my mess like last time and now [Aroldis] Chapman’s warming up. That’s what upsets me the most. I know I’m better than that. They picked me up again. The good thing is we won this game.”
Kahnle allowed an infield single by Cameron Maybin to load the bases with none out. After striking out George Springer, he walked Alex Bregman on five pitches to force home a run before getting Jose Altuve to ground into a double play that ended the Yankees’ 8-1 victory.
Betances entered the postseason not pitching well, and that has continued. Joe Girardi has continued to say he believes in him, but he has yet to put him in a high-leverage situation. With an 8-0 lead, Betances had a chance to get back on track, or at least make some strides in that direction, and it clearly didn’t work out.
“He went through it a couple of times this year, and we’ve seemingly been able to get him on track a number of different times,” Girardi said. “And we’re still trying to do that. I still think he’s really important to us and we need him. So we’ll continue to try and fix it.”
Before Monday night, Betances last appeared in Game 4 of the ALDS against the Indians. He walked the first two batters, just like Monday, and was replaced by Kahnle.
Betances struck out the side in Game 1 of the Cleveland series and took the loss in Game 2, though that occurred in his third inning after he pitched two scoreless innings.
“I just feel like I’m yanking everything,” Betances said of his command issues. “Pulling my front side a lot. I feel like my timing is off right now and that’s what’s causing the walks.”
He said the fans’ reaction didn’t bother him.
“I don’t blame the fans,” he said. “I’m not doing my job when I’m out there. I understand. You want the game to be over right there. You don’t want to watch a guy walk the first two. I’m not upset about that. I’m upset about the inconsistency I had tonight and the other night.”
Most frustrating to Betances, who said he’s healthy, is that he hardly resembles the pitcher who has made four straight All-Star Games, including this year’s.
“In the midst of all of this, I’m keeping my head up high,” Betances said. “I’m going to continue to work hard. I know I’ve had a lot of success in this game and I know I can get back and be the pitcher I know I can be.”