CLEVELAND — It’s hard to imagine any scenario in which Yankees manager Joe Girardi would go to Dellin Betances in Wednesday night’s deciding Game 5 of the ALDS against the Indians at Progressive Field.
Betances walked the only two batters he faced in the eighth inning of Monday’s 7-3 Yankees victory in Game 4. Betances had to be bailed out by Tommy Kahnle, who struck out five in two perfect innings for his first postseason save.
The Yankees had hoped Betances turned the corner in Game 1 when he threw 10 strikes and just one ball in striking out the side in Cleveland’s 4-0 win. And even though Betances took the loss in Game 2, the big righthander threw two scoreless innings before allowing the winning run in the 13th.
But Betances, handed a chance Monday with the Yankees holding a four-run lead, threw eight balls and four strikes and was taken out.
“I felt like I was a little too all over, a little out of whack,’’ the four-time All-Star said after the game. “I’ve got to thank Tommy Kahnle. He did a hell of a job behind me. I can’t put them in that situation. I’ve got to be better than that. I just put two guys on. It’s a 7-3 ballgame. You can’t put guys on and expect to keep pitching. I’ve got to be able to dial it down a little bit, make pitches.’’
With the season again on the line, Girardi will have a full bullpen Wednesday. He said Tuesday that he should have 11 pitchers available — everyone except Game 4 starter Luis Severino.
Betances struggled with his control in September and lost his eighth-inning spot. The Yankees probably wouldn’t want to see which version of Betances would show up Wednesday, although Girardi was supportive.
“You look at the other two games he’s pitched, he’s pitched really well,” he said. “So I look at it as a one-game thing. And there’s a good chance we’re going to need him (Wednesday) and he’s going to have to pitch well . . . I still believe in Dellin. I believe in all of our guys. We wouldn’t be to this point if they hadn’t had success along the way.”
Said Betances: “I’m being ready whenever my name is called. I know I’m going to help this team out. If it’s Wednesday, it’s Wednesday. If not, hopefully after we win, the next series.’’
With Steven Marcus