Pregame Notes: Betances on the bump

The Great ALDS Unknown
Game 162: End of the line

The Yankees didn’t know who was starting tonight’s game until a few hours before first pitch, and that would be a reason to panic at any other point of the season. Before Game 162 though, with everything clinched and a clubhouse full of September call-ups, it was no big deal. Dellin Betances, who last started a game 23 days ago, gets the nod six days after walking four and hitting one of the seven batters he faced in his big league debut against these same Rays.

“I was mostly throwing the ball instead of pitching,” said Betances of his debut, “and that’s one of the things that hurt me. I’m just glad to get the first one out of the way, and I hope that I get the chance to pitch one more time and redeem myself from this one.”

The Yankees aren’t going to ask the 23-year-old right-hander from Washington Heights to pitch deep into the game, frankly I’d be surprised if he threw more than two innings. Hopefully the nerves are a non-issue tonight and the kid shows why the Yankees gave him a million bucks as an eighth round pick in 2006. Phil Hughes, Boone Logan, and Luis Ayala are likely to get into the game at some point, their final tune-ups before the ALDS starts on Friday. Triple-A arms will handle the  rest of the game.

  • A close approximation of the A-lineup is starting tonight, but don’t expect those guys to play all nine innings. Derek Jeter will be hitting exactly .300 if gets a hit in first at-bat (.2996 to be exact, but hooray for rounding up!), so he might not stick around to bat a second time. The other guys figure to get two or three plate appearances before giving way to the kids.
  • I took the video above about four hours before first pitch, mostly out of boredom. It’s Robinson Cano doing that screen drill with hitting coach Kevin Long, with a screen stretched across home plate. The idea is to swing the bat and not hit the screen, and it’s supposed to help him keep his hands in and pull the ball for power. You can hear the crack of the bat, then a few seconds later the thud of the ball hitting the seats.
  • Alex Rodriguez did the same drill after Cano, though Long spent a lot more time giving him instruction than he did Robbie. Two days ago we heard they were working on A-Rod‘s leg kick and timing. Alex may not be hitting all that much right now, but it’s not because of a lack of effort.
  • CC Sabathia played catch with (I think) bullpen coach Mike Harkey before batting practice, I’d say about 15 minutes worth. Nothing crazy, just the usual between start stuff.
The Great ALDS Unknown
Game 162: End of the line
  • pat

    Mike, I was under the impression that baseball players only play games and then go home? 3 hours a day, right?

    • Rainbow Connection

      I wish I could get paid to hang out in a batting case, then complain about how tough it is.

      • Rainbow Connection


  • Monteroisdinero

    Thanks for the update Mike. On a personal note, do you think you will ever work for the Yankees? I’m guessing you would like to.

    • Mike Axisa

      I wouldn’t hire me if I was them. I’m just some dope with a blog.

      • mustang

        You guys have more knowledge then most of the people on YES and almost everyone on ESPN.

        “dope with a blog” NOT AT ALL !!!

        • Nuke LaDoosh

          he’s humble

  • mustang

    No need for approximations here you go:

    Derek Jeter SS
    Curtis Granderson CF
    Mark Teixeira 1B
    Robinson Cano DH
    Alex Rodriguez 3B
    Nick Swisher RF
    Andruw Jones LF
    Jesus Montero C
    Eduardo Nunez 2B

    • mustang

      Everyone staying healthy and Jeter getting 300 is all I care about for the Yankees.

      • BK2ATL

        +1, but a nice showing by Betances, Brackman and Kontos would be icing on the cake.

        • Jesse

          Same with Montero if he plays well behind the plate.

    • Monteroisdinero

      Gardy could use a night off although I was hoping he’d get his 50th sb. We’ll see how our young battery does tonight.

      Relax Dellin.

      Robbie says count to ten between pitches.

      • Sarah

        I’m hoping Joe will let him take over for Jones around the 5th so he can get 50 SB.

        Crisp will probably get to 50 tonight. Want Gardy to keep pace or get there first. Maybe even get to 51.

      • David, Jr.

        What about Montero? Since that guy said that you haven’t been mentioning him.

        • Monteroisdinero

          he was in my “young battery” reference. Trying not to overdo it but, now that you brought it up….

          batting 8th?


    • The Big City of Dreams

      No Martin or Romine WTF is Girardi thinking.


      • mustang

        He is using the “we have no other choice, close my eyes while he behind the plate, back-up, back up catcher.

  • Pounder

    Imagine ,just imagine,Betances has a no hitter going into the later innings,while BS are winning.

    • 101010

      Bring in Proctor!

  • bong hitter


  • dkidd

    dellin betances will make rick ankiel look like bob tewksbury

    somehow, yanks win anyway

  • cnybkrdr

    Nice phone in the cage drill video.

    Please get a new stadium Tampa.

    One with a retractable roof to mitigate the effects of S Florida sun and rain storms.