Dellin Betances was booed off the mound as he left in the eighth inning Monday night, carrying the control problems that have put intermittent clouds over his season. He was relieved, literally and figuratively, that Aroldis Chapman came on and bailed him out.
“I can’t put my team in a situation like I did tonight,” he said. “I was definitely frustrated with my performance. I put Chapman in a tough situation. He did an unbelievable job.
“I know I can be better. I feel good when I’m warming up in the bullpen. My timing can be a little better. I think that will solve the control problem.”
Girardi mum on rotation
The way things stand now, Luis Severino will pitch Friday, then next Wednesday and be very well rested for a possible wild-card playoff game. It would set up perfectly for the Yankees’ No. 1 starter. But you didn’t hear that from Joe Girardi.
“I don’t want to go through the scenarios on a daily basis,” the manager said of a rotation that was shuffled to keep CC Sabathia off Toronto’s artificial surface, which is tough on his knee. When he was asked specifically about when he will formulate the pitching setup for the postseason, Girardi said, “I might have already started.”
He does expect Sabathia to start Tuesday and Masahiro Tanaka on Wednesday, but referred to the comment he had made Saturday: “I could always change my mind.”
At least one significant pitching statistic indicates the Yankees will be well suited for the playoffs, no matter what order Girardi chooses. Entering Monday night, the club had a 1.227 WHIP, walks plus hits per innings pitched — a key factor in the postseason, when every baserunner is pivotal. That was third in the major leagues, behind the Dodgers (1.153) and Indians (1.165), the teams with the top records in the National and American Leagues, respectively.
Hicks: I’m close to returning
Aaron Hicks said, “I feel like I’m really close” and is confident he will return from his strained left oblique injury in time to play before the regular season ends. He has been on the disabled list since Sept. 3.
“I feel like I should be taking [batting practice] pretty soon,” he said. “I definitely want to get my swing going before the postseason starts.”
Twins’ Buxton is a quick pick
Observers are quick to compliment Twins centerfielder Byron Buxton (“He’s a difference maker,” Girardi said) and that is appropriate. Speed is Buxton’s forte. He recently completed an inside-the-park home run in 13.85 seconds, the fastest ever recorded by Major League Baseball’s Statcast.