HOUSTON — Joe Girardi acknowledged what has been apparent for some time.
While he hasn’t abandoned hope of getting Dellin Betances back on track, it’s highly unlikely that Girardi will put Betances in a game during the rest of the ALCS or the World Series, if the Yankees advance.
“With the magnitude of the games, you can’t allow, sometimes, a player to work through something where you might let him do it during the course of the season,” Girardi said via conference call Thursday. “[Then] you might give him a little bit more rope.”
Betances has made one appearance in this series, and it did not go well. The righthander, whose Division Series performance against the Indians didn’t do much to allay fears about putting him in a big spot — he walked three in three innings — came on in the ninth inning of Monday night’s Game 3 with an 8-0 lead.
Betances, who had command issues during much of the season’s second half, walked the only two batters he faced and was quickly pulled, ushered off the mound to a chorus of boos.
“You get into different situations you didn’t expect to be in, so I don’t narrow my thoughts of when I could use him,” Girardi said. “Obviously, he’s struggled the last couple times, but he was really good in the Cleveland series, so again, we’re trying to get him going. But I don’t think you can say this is exactly when we’re going to use him. I think the game dictates that.”
Familiar faces slumping
Just about the entire Houston lineup has been slumping in the first five games, with former Yankees Carlos Beltran (1-for-12) and Brian McCann (0-for-10) high on the list. But that doesn’t necessarily make Girardi feel comfortable going into Game 6.
“I think eventually they’re going to hit,” he said. “I look at a number of other players that have been through playoffs, and they’ve had their struggles, and all of a sudden they can get hot. And I think everything is magnified when you’re in the playoffs.”