DETROIT — It’s gotten to the point where Dellin Betances can’t even be trusted with a five-run lead. But regardless, Betances and Aaron Boone feel he’s actually in a good place — a four-time All-Star with an 8.10 ERA.
Betances couldn’t get through the eighth inning despite the Yankees leading the Tigers 8-3 when it started, needing Chad Green to save him. He got just two outs while allowing three runs on five hits.
In what has become a common occurrence, Betances got ambushed on a first-pitch fastball solo homer — this time by Jeimer Candelario. The same thing happened in Toronto against Kevin Pillar.
“I know the result wasn’t great for him tonight, but I do feel like he’s very close to being where we need him to be,” Boone said. “We’ll continue to put him out there because he’s in a good place with his delivery ever since we’ve sped him up, and tonight I thought he came in throwing strikes with it.”
Betances, whose command betrayed him in 2017, did throw 18 strikes in 24 pitches. But he mostly abandoned his fastball, going with his breaking ball the majority of the time.
“It’s tough right now. This is the best I’ve felt in a while,” Betances said. “I mean, both pitches I felt really good with it and they just found holes for everything. The first guy got me good, but after that everything I threw just got hit. I think if I picked up the rosin bag and threw it it was going to get hit.
“It was one of those days, but I’ve got to continue to stay positive. Like I said, I haven’t felt like this in a while as far as how I felt today stuff-wise.”
Even so, Betances is going to need to show some results at some point.
Tommy Kahnle (6.14 ERA), David Robertson (4.15) and Adam Warren (3.86) have also gotten off to slow starts. The way things have started, it wouldn’t be a surprise if dominant bridge guy Green ends up with a late-inning, high-leverage setup role down the line.
“We feel like he can wear a lot of hats for us,” said Boone, who was hoping to stay away from using Green after he’d thrown multiple innings on Wednesday in Boston. “Tonight was an example of that.”
Aroldis Chapman, who was shaky in Boston, struck out the side in the ninth to record his second save.
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