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Yankees’ Dellin Betances prepared for any relief role in ALDS

 

When the Yankees’ bullpen went above and beyond in the AL Wild Card game against the Twins on Tuesday night — recording an unexpected 26 outs in a whacky 8-4 win — Dellin Betances wasn’t part of the formula. 

Instead, the 29-year-old righty was seated in the bullpen, as his last month of work in relief didn’t appear to be that encouraging. In September (12 games), Betances owned a 5.59 ERA with six earned runs, six hits, seven walks, and 15 strikeouts in 9.2 innings. He happened to end the regular season on a high note, allowing just one hit in his final six appearances, but his overall woes have made manager Joe Girardi reluctant to use him in high-leverage situations.

Regardless, Betances is ready for whatever role is handed to him in the ALDS against the Cleveland Indians.

“Honestly, I’m going to be ready whenever they call my name,” Betances told NJ.com’s Brendan Kuty. “We’ve got a lot of games. This is a big series against the best team, possibly the best team. They went to the World Series last year. They got some great hitters and I feel like I’ve got the stuff to go out there and make good things happen.”

On Tuesday, New York used four relievers over a span of 8.2 innings, as starter Luis Severino allowed three runs, four hits, and a walk in just one-third inning. Upon entry, Chad Green (2 IP), David Robertson (3.1 IP), Tommy Kahnle (2.1 IP), and Aroldis Chapman (1 IP) combined to strike out 13 batters, while allowing only one run, five hits, and three walks.

“[Manager Joe Girardi] rolled with the hot hand,” Betances told MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch. “These guys did an unbelievable job, from Chad Green going in there with that situation [second and third with one out in the first inning, and the Twins leading, 3-0]. He went with the guys that were hot. We won the game, so it worked. For me, I was just rooting for my teammates and hoping that we won that game.

“Walks have been a problem all year for me. I put a lot of guys on, and I don’t think it’s about me getting hit, per se. For me, that’s something that I’ve been trying to limit. I felt better the last week overall. I understand why he went with the guys that he chose yesterday. Those guys did an unbelievable job.”

According to Hoch, Girardi wasn’t inclined to explain how Betances will be used moving forward. 

“I’m telling you, he’s going to be important in this,” Girardi said. “If we’re going to win, he’s going to be extremely important, and I’m going to use him.”

Yankees’ right-hander Sonny Gray will oppose Indians’ righty Trevor Bauer in Game 1 at Progressive Field, with first pitch scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

If you want to connect with Tom Hanslin, email him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @tomhanslin.

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