Pulled after 2 batters, Betances knows stakes

Pulled after 2 batters, Betances knows stakes

NEW YORK -- Dellin Betances said that he understood why manager Joe Girardi yanked him quickly in Friday's 4-0 victory over the Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium, and the right-handed reliever said he expects to make one more appearance before the postseason, hoping to straighten out his wild streak.

Betances threw just eight pitches before Girardi collected the baseball, calling upon Aroldis Chapman for his 21st save. Betances allowed a single, watched catcher Austin Romine lose a pitch in the creeping shadows for a passed ball, then walked Teoscar Hernandez before exiting.

"Honestly, I thought I would have stayed in there, but it's a save situation and you have Chapman," Betances said. "He's throwing lights out. I'm not the manager, obviously, but I know I have to go out there and get quick outs. I can't put guys on."

While Betances had strung together three consecutive good outings leading into Friday's appearance, his control still seems too hit or miss for the Yanks' comfort level, especially with a do-or-die American League Wild Card Game likely on the horizon.

"The last three times, I felt good," Betances said. "I felt like I was attacking the strike zone. Today I fell behind on both guys. Obviously I want to be better, I have to be better. I'll just focus on putting this behind us and trying to be better the next time out."

"I'm really going to try to get him into one more game as we move forward here so he feels really good about going into the playoffs," Girardi said.

Otherwise, the Yankees could build backwards to Chapman by using Chad Green, Tommy Kahnle, David Robertson and Adam Warren, whom Girardi plans to use in a two-inning stint on Saturday after being unable to find a place to pitch him on Friday because of Masahiro Tanaka's terrific outing.

Girardi believed that Betances' 3-2 curveball to Hernandez was close but just off the plate, and said that while he still feels good about Betances, the Yankees also saw an opening for Chapman to log his first save since Sept. 19 vs. the Twins.

"I have a short leash right now," Betances said. "I've got to attack the strike zone, get guys out right away. He's the manager. He felt like right there he wanted to get Chappy in. Chappy did an unbelievable job there. You put the first two guys on and they have a closer like Chapman, most likely they're going to put him in."

An All-Star in each of the last four seasons, Betances is 3-6 with a 2.87 ERA and 100 strikeouts in 66 appearances. He is one of five relievers ever to notch 100 strikeouts in at least four straight seasons, joining Boston's Dick Radatz (1962-65), Toronto's Duane Ward (1989-92), Chapman (2012-15) and Cincinnati's Rob Dibble (1989-92).

"For us to be successful, he's going to have to be successful," Girardi said. "Everyone is going to have to help out. Everyone is going to have to do their part. He's really important to us."

Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.