Dellin Betances more than quadrupled his season ERA Tuesday night.
The fact that it is still only 1.25 proves how atypical his performance against the Phillies was.
After striking out two batters to end the eighth inning of a tie game, Betances allowed four runs in the ninth and picked up his first career loss in an 11-6 defeat.
"That ninth inning, my pitches weren't good," he said. "My breaking ball wasn't sharp, my fastball was off. I'm going after any hitter who I'm facing, I'm going with my best stuff. Today I didn't have it."
Betances came into the night having only allowed one earned run in 35 innings, giving him a big league-best 0.26 ERA.
It was his first appearance since June 17, and while Betances himself said "there's no excuse," manager Joe Girardi said the six-day layoff was "not ideal. That's not what you want from your relievers. We were going to pitch him, probably, no matter what tonight, just because he had been off so long. He looked really good in the first inning, he just struggled in the second."
"I was good in the eighth inning, so I don't think that was the case," Betances said, on the issue of rust.
Betances (4-1) initially looked like his dominant self, striking out Cameron Rupp on three pitches with a 98-mph fastball after coming in with a runner on second and one out. He then struck out Freddy Galvis with a curveball to end the inning.
Things unraveled in the ninth. After Ben Revere led off the inning with a double, Betances hit Cesar Hernandez with a pitch. Maikel Franco then scorched a grounder that third baseman Chase Headley could not backhand, driving in Revere and Hernandez.
"I've gotten into situations where I've gotten a couple of guys on and been able to get out of it," Betances said. "I thought that was going to be the case today. Franco, he's done good, he put a good swing [on it]."
Ryan Howard then grounded out, before Betances hit Jeff Francoeur and was relieved by Nick Rumbelow, who would allow both inherited runners to score.
Despite the poor result Tuesday, Betances still ranks among the best relievers in the game, allowing only 0.8 walks and hits per innings pitched, while striking out a big-league best 42.1 percent of batters faced.
"They got the best of me today and you've just got to be ready for tomorrow," he said.