…Decent drive off that back leg.
The Yankees and their fans tragically ended a 18-year love affair with the most “lights out” reliever in baseball history, and fell back on the most “lights out” reliever of 2014. Betances is one helluva rebound for Girardi, who’s had him on speed-dial since. This is not a one inning reliever like just about every other late inning guy in baseball. Betances is a horse out of the pen, leading all relievers in innings pitched, strikeouts, and whatever ratios that Billy Beane’s Stanford intern can think of. He pulled a “Secretariat” in last year’s strikeout race, beating Craig Kimbrel by a ridiculous 40 Ks. 135 Ks for a reliever, that sounds like a lot. It is. Last time a Yankee reliever struck out more than 100 guys, his name was Mariano. That year was 1996.
Betances has been just what the doctor ordered for Mariano withdrawal. He earned our profile with this sequence:
When you go down 2-0 to Miguel Cabrera, you throw up four fingers. Every manager in baseball throws up four fingers. Janice out in the bleachers just learned how many innings there are in a baseball game and she’s throwing up four fingers.
Betances waves off the four fingers. He then rips off the best curveball in the game (according to MLB managers) to get Miggy out of his NB 3000s, then simply buckles his chinstrap, fires off two bullets on the black to knock Miggy’s top off, checks the gun for “100,” and canters off. That’s what you live for as a pitcher. That’s the mountain top.
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