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Joe Girardi feels comfortable using Dellin Betances late in games

Yankees reliever Dellin Betances pitches during the ninth inning

Yankees reliever Dellin Betances pitches during the ninth inning on Sept. 26, 2017, at Yankee Stadium. Credit: Joseph D. Sullivan

As the season winds down, it appears increasingly likely that the Yankees will have to survive a one-game elimination to advance to the Division Series. And if that happens, it seems like Joe Girardi will not fear turning to Dellin Betances in a late-game situation.

Despite Betances’ latest control problems, Girardi said Wednesday that he believes the righty is getting a hold on the mechanical issues that last plagued him in a Sept. 18 relief appearance and a few different times before that.

“His last couple outings have been pretty good,” Girardi said. “It’s a little mechanical. I think when he gets out of whack it’s mechanical, and when he’s throwing balls, it’s mechanical. It just looks like he’s more under control.”

Against the Twins earlier this month, Betances faced four batters, walking two and hitting another. Of his 17 pitches, only six were strikes. Though he’s been one of the Yankees most consistently dominant relievers in recent years, Betances has had moments of unevenness, particularly in the last month. He also blew a save on Sept. 5 against the Orioles; his ERA this month jumped to higher than 3.00 for the first time since the first week of the season.

Betances worked a perfect eighth inning Wednesday night, striking out one — his 100th of the season.

Division or bust

Girardi said that if the Yankees are in the position to take the AL East, they’ll do whatever they can to make it happen — including altering the rotation. “I think the main goal is win the division,” he said. “I don’t think anyone wants to be in a one-game shootout. I think there are so many little things that could come up that could cost you a game in a one-game shootout. Your goal is to win. In saying that, pitchers are available to me if I get in that situation and I have the ability to change the rotation and do some different things if it comes to fruition.” The Yankees were three behind the Red Sox with five to play before Wednesday’s game.

Bat scare

In the top of the second inning, the Rays’ Corey Dickerson lost grip on his bat during a swing, sending it flying into the stands above the photographers’ pit up the first-base line. No one appeared to be hurt. This comes a week after a young girl was struck by a foul ball and sent to the hospital. There has been an increasingly loud call for the Yankees to extend the safety netting up the first and third-base lines.

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