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Dellin Betances gives up tying homer, but he knows how to handle it now

Dellin Betances of the Yankees pitches in the

Dellin Betances of the Yankees pitches in the eighth inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Yankee Stadium on Sunday, July 20, 2014. Credit: Jim McIsaac

In the past, when Dellin Betances was a struggling starter in the minor leagues, he might have had a harder time handling the situation after surrendering a home run and blowing a lead late in a game.

Negative thoughts might have lingered. Doubt might have crept in. There were times, Betances said, when there likely would have been a carry-over effect into his next appearance.

But not these days, the first-time All-Star said Sunday. Not as a dominant Yankees setup man. Although failure has become a rarity for Betances, when it does happen, he knows how to cope with it.

Betances said the tying solo home run Todd Frazier hit off him in the eighth inning Sunday already is behind him. It has to be, he added, for him to continue to produce at the elite level that made Yankees manager Joe Girardi call Frazier's homer "shocking."

"I expect to just bounce right back. It does nothing to my confidence," Betances said after the Yankees beat the Reds, 3-2, at Yankee Stadium on a pop-up single by Brian McCann that fell between three Reds in the ninth.

Betances, who entered the game with a 0.68 WHIP and 1.42 ERA, allowed three hits in 1 1/3 innings and blew a potential victory for Hiroki Kuroda. One of his favorite perks of being a reliever, though, is that there's little time to dwell on lackluster outings.

"Coming out of the bullpen, it's one of those things where you could pitch every day, so it's easier to forget, where as a starter, if you have a bad performance, you have to wait five days and it kind of drains on you more," added Betances, who has struck out 88 in 58 1/3 innings.

Frazier's homer was the first hit by a righthanded batter against Betances in 25 at-bats. It was only the second home run Betances has allowed this season; the first was hit May 17 by the Pirates' Starling Marte.

"I think we were all a little bit shocked when it happened," Girardi said, "but it just goes to show you that he's human."

Given Betances' dominant stats, that raises this question: How in the world was Frazier able to do it? He turned on a high, inside fastball that was riding in on him at 98 mph -- a pitch that was out of the strike zone -- and not only was able to keep it fair but hit it far.

"I don't know. I was surprised," Betances said with a laugh. "I was surprised because it was up and in. It was a bad pitch for me; it would've been ball four. I don't know how he hit that. I think he just guessed right. He's obviously a good hitter, but I felt like he guessed because it was up and in and he caught barrel and put it over the wall."

Of course, if the Yankees had ended up losing the game, Betances wouldn't have been in as good a mood.

"If we would've lost then, I would have felt a lot worse about it," he said. "But like I said, I try to stay even-keeled no matter what happens. That's important for me."

New York Sports