WFAN’s Mike Francesa and Sweeny Murti discussed Friday whether the Yanks skipper made a mistake by bringing in closer Dellin Betances with one out, rather than starting the inning with him.
The Red Sox had a runner on first base and were trailing 5-2 when Betances entered the game. The right-hander then gave up RBI singles to David Ortiz and Mookie Betts before serving up a three-run, walk-off homer to Hanley Ramirez, as Boston won 7-5.
“I think what happens is Joe goes with the idea that he doesn’t want to use him (Betances) tonight, but he’s going to use him if things get hairy,” Murti, WFAN’s Yankees beat reporter, told Francesa. “And that’s not anything new. I know we want the idea of bringing him in to start the inning, and I like that, too. Remember his previous role, though, coming with a fire to put out, is not anything new to him. So I don’t think that’s an issue.
Francesa countered: “Here’s where I just differ with Joe — and that’s the only thing I differ on in the game — if you’re going to use him, if he’s not out of the game, if he’s not ruled out that night … then let him start the darn inning. If you’re going to bring him anyway, then just start the inning with him.”
“His idea is to try to get through it without using him, and then if you have to, by that time, the momentum’s already going,” Murti said.
Murti noted that Betances has struggled when pitching on three consecutive days.
“The two games that have really blown up in the course of the last 10 days or so, they were both on his third straight day,” Murti said. “Now he’s done that before — he pitched on three straight days earlier this year (and) it wasn’t an issue. But it’s clear for these games that you’ve seen what the effect is, is the command.”
Some in the media have also criticized Girardi for removing Masahiro Tanaka after seven innings of one-run ball. Girardi said his ace was tired. Adam Warren, Tommy Layne and Blake Parker were all used in relief, with Warren and Parker each being credited with giving up a run.
The Yankees enter Friday night’s game three games out of the American League wild card with 16 games remaining.