After throwing his 40th pitch on his third consecutive day of pitching, after watching the Blue Jays score twice to pull within a run of the Yankees in the ninth inning Tuesday night, Dellin Betances saw Joe Girardi emerge from the dugout.
“No!” Betances yelled.
Girardi kept walking.
“As you saw, Dellin was trying to wave me off,” Girardi said after Blake Parker got the final two outs in relief of Betances in the Yankees’ thrilling 7-6 victory at Yankee Stadium. “It’s just too risky. And now we’ll probably have to give him a couple days off. That’s the unfortunate thing.”
Betances said he felt OK when he came into the game with the Yankees leading 7-4. But after walking three batters, throwing a wild pitch and giving up two run-scoring infield singles while only recording one out, even he had to admit it was time for Girardi to try someone else.
“I had a lot of pitches there,” Betances said. “The competitor, you always want to kind of finish it yourself, but it was the right move right there. I felt like I was out of gas toward the end.”
The Yankees had scored four times in the eighth to take the lead and felt as if they had a big enough cushion when Chase Headley hit a two-run homer to make it 7-4.
But Betances walked Jose Bautista and Josh Donaldson to open the inning before throwing a wild pitch. Edwin Encarnacion beat out a grounder up the middle for an RBI single to make it 7-5.
Betances got Russell Martin looking for the first out, but he walked Dioner Navarro to load the bases. As Betances’ pitch count escalated and Parker warmed, Melvin Upton Jr. topped a spinner toward first base.
Betances tried to field the ball, but it went to Mark Teixeira wide of first. By the time Betances recovered to cover the bag, he was too late to beat Upton (and in fact missed the bag after catching the toss from Teixeira) as another run scored to make it 7-6.
That’s when Girardi headed out to bring in Parker, the 31-year-old righthander the Yankees claimed off waivers from Seattle on Aug. 9.
After Gary Sanchez blocked a potential game-tying wild pitch, Parker struck out Kevin Pillar looking for the second out.
Justin Smoak then sent a drive to the leftfield wall that Brett Gardner caught with a leap for what has to be the play of the year for the Yankees. Parker had his second career save — his other one was for the Cubs in 2013 — and Betances was able to breathe a Betances-size sigh of relief.
“Great job by Parker, man,” Betances said. “He picked me up. I owe him something big.”