2014 Season Review: Dealin’ Dellin


Man, Dellin Betances had to travel a long and hard road to get to where he was in 2014, namely being a deserving All-Star and arguably the best relief pitcher on the planet. The Yankees drafted him way back in the eighth round of the 2006 draft, gave him a $1M bonus to pass on a commitment to Vanderbilt — that was before the draft got borked — and waiting patiently as he battled injury and (occasionally extreme) control problems in the minors.

Here, let’s take a moment to soak in Dellin’s minor league career to fully understand where he’s coming from:

2006 18 Rk 1.16 7 7 23.1 14 5 3 1 7 27 1 2 0.900 5.4 0.4 2.7 10.4
2007 19 A- 3.60 6 6 25.0 24 11 10 0 17 29 2 3 1.640 8.6 0.0 6.1 10.4
2008 20 A-Rk 3.92 25 24 121.2 100 64 53 9 62 141 11 11 1.332 7.4 0.7 4.6 10.4
2009 21 A+ 5.48 11 11 44.1 48 29 27 2 27 44 2 3 1.692 9.7 0.4 5.5 8.9
2010 22 A+-AA 2.11 17 17 85.1 53 25 20 4 22 108 4 6 0.879 5.6 0.4 2.3 11.4
2011 23 AA-AAA 3.70 25 25 126.1 102 61 52 9 70 142 10 7 1.361 7.3 0.6 5.0 10.1
2012 24 AAA-AA 6.44 27 26 131.1 144 107 94 13 99 124 12 20 1.850 9.9 0.9 6.8 8.5
2013 25 AAA 2.68 38 6 84.0 52 25 25 2 42 108 7 8 1.119 5.6 0.2 4.5 11.6
8 Seasons 3.99 156 122 641.1 537 327 284 40 346 723 49 60 1.377 7.5 0.6 4.9 10.1
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 11/4/2014.

There’s a lot going on there, and a lot of it isn’t good. Betances was damn near out of baseball in May 2013 before the Yankees permanently shifted him to the bullpen, hoping the shorter outings would better allow him to repeat his delivery and locate. The decision paid off immediately as Betances dominated for Triple-A Scranton the rest of the season and impressed during his September call-up.

For the first time in his eight full seasons as a professional baseball player, Betances came to Spring Training this year with a chance to win a big league job. There was an opening in the bullpen, and while he was the best choice for the spot on paper, he had to come to camp to show last season’s bullpen success was no fluke first. His career had been way too up-and-down to hand him anything. Dellin had a minor league option left. The Yankees could have easily sent him to Triple-A.

Betances showed up to Tampa in the spring and won that bullpen spot with ease. He only struck out eleven in 12.1 Grapefruit League innings, but it felt like a lot more. More importantly, Dellin was locating his fastball — in addition to flat out blowing it by hitters, of course — and dropping his breaking ball in for called strikes. The outing that appeared to cement his place in the big league bullpen came on March 23rd, when he struck out Jose Bautista and got Edwin Encarnacion to fly out harmlessly to left with the bases loaded.

When the regular season started, Betances was the second-to-last man in the bullpen, ahead of only Vidal Nuno. David Robertson was locked into the closer’s role and Shawn Kelley, Adam Warren, and David Phelps all had more big league time among the setup candidates. Betances made his first appearance of the year in the team’s very first game, striking out two in a perfect inning of work with the Yankees down six runs in the seventh inning. That’s as low-leverage as it gets.

Three days later, Betances entered a game the Yankees were leading by three runs with two outs in the eighth. He walked the first man he faced (Bautista) before getting the next (Encarnacion) to ground out to end the inning. The Yankees scored an insurance run in the top of the ninth, so Joe Girardi sent Dellin back out for the bottom half, but he walked the leadoff man on four pitches and that was that. The leash was short. Robertson came in to close out the game.

Dellin climbed the bullpen totem pole over the next few weeks, allowing three runs while striking out 21 of 47 batters faced in his final eight appearances and 12 innings of April. By mid-May he had established himself not as Girardi’s primary eighth inning guy, but as a multi-inning middle reliever who routinely got five or six outs at a time. His coming of age moment, if you will, came on May 15th against the Mets, when he struck out six of seven batters faced with the Yankees leading 1-0.

From that moment on, Girardi regularly turned to Betances in the game’s biggest situations and used him as a multi-inning high-leverage reliever. It was awesome. It was the perfect role. The kind of role we talk about all the time even though it never really happens because relief pitcher-ing is hard. Betances struck out 35 of 70 batters faced — half! — at one point from mid-May through mid-June, and he went into the All-Star break with a 1.46 ERA (1.36 FIP) and a 40.8% strikeout rate in 55.1 innings across 40 appearances.

Red Sox manager John Farrell named Betances to the AL All-Star Team — he was the only non-closing reliever named to the AL team — though he was one of three pitchers who did not pitch in the game, along with Mark Buehrle and David Price. It was disappointing but not really a bad thing given his first half workload. Betances threw a ton of important innings in the first half and a little four-day rest in mid-July was the best thing for him in the grand scheme of things.

After the All-Star break, it appeared Girardi and the Yankees made the conscious decision to limit Dellin’s workload in the second half. After recording four outs or more 24 times in the first half, he was asked to do it only eleven times after the All-Star break. His effectiveness never waned but the Yankees were simply being careful with someone who quickly emerged as a top asset. Betances settled into a tradition eighth inning role in late-July and for the most part stayed their through the end of the season.

My single favorite plate appearance of the 2014 season came on August 5th, when Betances flat-out overpowered two-time reigning AL MVP Miguel Cabrera with the score tied in the top of the eighth. He got Miggy to swing over a breaking ball and through two 99-100 mph fastballs. It was swoon worthy. Check it out:

Dellin’s final appearance as a multi-inning super-reliever came on August 13th, as the Yankees were clinging to postseason hope in a game against the division rival Orioles. They were up 2-1 in the sixth inning when Girardi called on Betances, who struck out he side in the sixth and retired the side in order in the seventh. He went back out for the eighth with his pitch count at only 24, got the first out, then served up a game-tying solo homer to Jonathan Schoop. The Yankees lost the game when the rest of the bullpen melted down.

Betances finished the season with a 1.40 ERA (1.64 FIP) in 90 innings spread across 70 appearances. His strikeout (13.50 K/9 and 39.6 K%) numbers were off the charts, and he also posted very good walk (2.40 BB/9 and 7.0 BB%), homer (0.40 HR/9 and 6.0 HR/FB%), and ground ball (46.6%) rates. Betances led all full-time relievers in innings, strikeouts (135), WPA (+4.42), fWAR (3.2), and bWAR (3.7). His 35 appearances of at least four outs were the most in baseball by a wide margin (Warren was second with 29.)

The parallels between Betances’ career and Mariano Rivera‘s are kinda eerie. Both were starting pitching prospects who had their issues in the minors and didn’t break out until being moved into the bullpen full-time. They both had dominant first full seasons with the Yankees as a multi-inning setup man at age 26 — Betances broke Mo’s single-season reliever strikeout record (130 in 1996) this year — and like Rivera, Betances could wind up taking over as closer in his second year if the team’s veteran closer leaves via free agency. That doesn’t mean Betances will be the next Rivera of course, just that they’ve have freakishly similar careers to date.

What happens with Betances in the future is a conversation for another time. For now, let’s just appreciate his 2014 mastery, when he was unquestionably the most exciting thing about the Yankees from Opening Day through Game 162. Masahiro Tanaka and Michael Pineda had their moments around their injuries, but Betances was there from start to finish. We were all upset every time the bullpen door opened and someone other than Dellin came running out even though we knew he couldn’t pitch everyday. Dealin’ Dellin was the rose that grew out of the cracks in the sidewalk that was the 2014 Yankees.

Brett Gardner underwent core muscle surgery last month

Brett Gardner underwent core muscle surgery to repair his right rectus abdominis muscle on October 16th, the Yankees just announced. The surgery was performed by Dr. William Meyers at the Philadelphia Vincera Institute in Philadelphia, PA. The team didn’t give any details about Gardner’s rehab timetable, but his agent told Dan Barbarisi it’s not serious and he will be back to 100% this month. Gardner played through an abdominal injury for most of the second half.

Prospect Profile: Austin DeCarr

(Martha's Vineyard Times)
(Martha’s Vineyard Times)

Austin DeCarr | RHP

DeCarr grew up south of Boston in Foxborough, where he played both baseball and football at Xaverian Brothers High School. He went undrafted after graduating in 2013, then did a post-graduate year at the prestigious Salisbury School in Connecticut. DeCarr went 7-0 with a 0.64 ERA and a 93/19 K/BB in 42 innings during his lone year as Salisbury.

Prior to the 2014 draft, Baseball America ranked DeCarr as the 64th best prospect in the draft class while Keith Law (subs. req’d) did not rank him among his top 100 draft prospects. The Yankees selected DeCarr with their third round pick, the 91st overall selection. He passed on his commitment to Clemson and signed a week after the draft for a $1M bonus, well above the $585,100 slot value.

Pro Debut
The Yankees sent the 19-year-old DeCarr to the rookie level Gulf Coast League after signing. He pitched to a 4.63 ERA (3.68 FIP) in 23.1 closely monitored innings across eight starts and three relief appearances. Only four times in those eleven outings was he allowed to complete three full innings of work. DeCarr told John Johnson he spent a bunch of time with the rehabbing Andrew Bailey while in Tampa.

“I’ve probably been hanging around with Bailey more than anyone, and I’ve learned a lot from him,” said DeCarr to Johnson. “Life in professional baseball is obviously a little bit different than things I’ve experienced in the past. We’ve talked about that, and about trying not to get too up or down and staying focused on the things that I can control.”

Scouting Report
DeCarr is a big kid who is listed at 6-foot-3 and 218 pounds. He sat in the 90-92 mph range this spring but reportedly bumped that to 93-94 with a few 96s while working in short bursts after signing. His best pitch is a hard low-80s hammer curveball he can throw for strikes or bury in the dirt for swings and misses. It’s a true out pitch at its absolute best. You can see it a few times in this video:

DeCarr does throw a hard changeup in the mid-80s but it is his clear third pitch right now. He uses a bit of an old school drop-and-drive delivery and he can locate his fastball to both sides of the plate. As with most high school pitchers — DeCarr technically wasn’t drafted out of high school, but he kinda sorta is a high school prospect — out of cold weather states, DeCarr doesn’t have many miles on his arm and he lacks experience. The Yankees love his makeup and work ethic, predictably.

2015 Outlook
Even though he will turn 20 in March, I expect DeCarr to start next season in Extended Spring Training rather than head to Low-A Charleston. He seems like an obvious candidate to join the organization’s new Appalachian League Affiliate (Pulaski Yankees!) when their season starts in late-June. The Appy League is technically classified as rookie ball, though the quality of competition is better than the Gulf Coast League but not quite as good as the Short Season NY-Penn League. It’s a stepping stone between the GCL Yanks and Staten Island Yanks, which seems like an appropriate level for DeCarr.

My Take
I didn’t know a whole lot about DeCarr prior to the draft but I do like that he has an out pitch in his curveball. That ability to miss bats will take you pretty far all by itself. DeCarr is more or less maxed out physically, so he probably won’t add much if any velocity as he matures these next few years. The changeup is the key here. If he can learn a usable changeup — it doesn’t have to be a great pitch, just good enough to make hitters respect it — DeCarr will have a chance to become a big league workhorse starter. If not, he might have to settle for a bullpen role long-term. There’s nothing wrong with that, of course. He’s a very good pro prospect, I’m just sure I see the huge upside we tend to associate with teenage pitching prospects.

Report: A-Rod admitted PED use to DEA

According to Jay Weaver of the Miami Herald, Alex Rodriguez admitted to purchasing and using performance-enhancing drugs from Biogenesis in a January meeting with federal agents and prosecutors in exchange for immunity. He told them he paid Anthony Bosch approximately $12,000 per month for the drugs. A-Rod publicly maintained he did not use PEDs even after the meeting, though we all knew that was a lie. Weaver’s article is Alex’s confession. Really great piece of reporting. Anyway, it’s November 5th and I already have A-Rod fatigue. Sigh.

Mike’s obligatory offseason wish list

Yesterday morning Joe posting his offseason wish list, so now it’s time for me to do the same. The Yankees need help up and down the lineup this winter, plus they’ll need to reinforce the pitching staff to protect against all their many injuries. My rough estimate has the team’s payroll already at $190M heading into 2015, so either payroll is going to have to go way up, or the Yankees will have to limit themselves to smaller moves. It will probably be some combination of both.

Anyway, enough small talk. Here’s my list of priorities and preferred targets for the 2014-15 offseason.

Castro. (Dilip Vishwanat/Getty)
Castro. (Dilip Vishwanat/Getty)

Priority #1: Shortstop

Derek Jeter has retired and the Yankees’ only viable in-house shortstop is Brendan Ryan, who I’m sure is a swell guy, but isn’t someone I want to see playing everyday. I’m guessing I’m not the only one who feels like that. The free agent market both does and does not offer some shortstop solutions. With J.J. Hardy off the board, that leaves Hanley Ramirez, Jed Lowrie, Asdrubal Cabrera, and Stephen Drew available. Drew is the only actually shortstop of the bunch. Hanley should be a third baseman while Lowrie and Asdrubal fit best at second. All three are below-average defensively at short. Given those options, the Yankees have to decide whether to wait it out and find a one year stopgap, or bite the bullet and sign an imperfect shortstop solution to a multi-year contract.

Plan A: Make A Trade: I’d absolutely love to the see the Yankees acquire Starlin Castro, a 24-year-old (!) who rebounded from a brutal 2013 season (72 wRC+) to hit .292/.339/.438 (115 wRC+) with 14 homers in 2014. His defense is a bit below-average but not disastrous. Also, Castro is signed through 2019 for a total of $43M (plus a $16M option for 2020), which is peanuts. The problem is the Cubs figure to look for high-end pitching this winter, and New York doesn’t really have any to offer. They could put Michael Pineda on the table — I wouldn’t necessarily be against it given his history of shoulder problems — though Pineda alone is unlikely to be enough.

With Castro unlikely, my next trade target is Diamondbacks shortstop Chris Owings, who can actually hit a little bit in addition to being a good gloveman. Didi Gregorius is the more talked about Arizona shortstop but he flat-out can’t hit. I’m pretty sick of the defense-first profile at this point. My third trade target is Jimmy Rollins, who has one more year on his contract at $11M. It shouldn’t cost a whole lot to acquire him, he can still hit some (102 wRC+ in 2014) and his defense hasn’t faded. Plus it’s a one-year deal. What’s the problem with that? Rollins has said he’ll waive his no-trade clause and the Phillies are finally talking about rebuilding this offseason. I doubt the Yankees will find a better one-year stopgap.

Plan B: Uh, Re-sign Drew?: I’d prefer to see the Yankees trade for a young shortstop like Castro or Owings, but if that isn’t possible and they need to stick to free agency, I’d begrudgingly want them to bring Drew back rather than pay big-ish money to Hanley, Lowrie, or Cabrera. Maybe Drew will hit better with a regular Spring Training — he couldn’t hit any worse, right? — and, as we saw last year, his defense is more than fine. If Ryan is my last resort at short, Drew on a one-year pillow contract is my second-to-last resort.

McCarthy. (Presswire)

Priority #2: Rotation Help

The Yankees haven’t used fewer than eight starters in a season since the strike-shortened 1994 campaign, and there’s no reason to think 2015 will be the year that breaks the streak. Masahiro Tanaka (elbow), CC Sabathia (knee), and Pineda (shoulder) will all go into the season with injury concerns and Ivan Nova (elbow) won’t be back until late-April on the earliest. I’d bet on it being May or June.

Shane Greene and David Phelps are tentatively penciled in as the number four and five starters at this very moment, but chances are the Yankees will add a starter and push them back into the fifth and sixth slots. I’d like to see them start the year in the sixth and seventh slots, personally. The Yankees reportedly will not pursue Jon Lester, Max Scherzer, or James Shields this winter, and I buy that. I understand being hesitant to hand out another $20M per year pitching contract given the status of Tanaka and Sabathia.

Plan A: Re-sign McCarthy: Re-signing Brandon McCarthy is a total no-brainer in my opinion. He’s very good, had no trouble moving into hitter friendly Yankee Stadium and the AL East, and won’t command the kind of massive contract it will take to land Lester, Scherzer, or Shields. McCarthy has his own injury concerns — this past season was the first time basically in his career that he didn’t visit the disabled list with a shoulder problem — but unless you’re going to pay top dollar, you’re going to get someone risky. That’s life.

Plan B: Reclamation Project: There aren’t many quality starters expected to be available in a trade this winter, and the ones who will be available are either expensive (Cole Hamels) or less than perfect fits for Yankee Stadium (Ian Kennedy). I liked the idea of signing Francisco Liriano along with McCarthy, but the Pirates gave Liriano the qualifying offer on Monday, so forget that. I wouldn’t give up a first rounder for someone that unpredictable.

Instead, I would like the Yankees to sign one (or two?) reclamation project starters in addition to McCarthy to build depth. My top target would be Brett Anderson, who is only 26 and racks up a ton of strikeouts and ground balls when healthy, which isn’t often. He was limited to eight starts last year because of a broken finger (he was hit by a pitch) and surgery to repair a bulging disc in his lower back. An incentive-laden one-year contract sounds good to me. Other reclamation project types include (in order of preference) Justin Masterson, Brandon Morrow, Chad Billingsley, and Josh Johnson.

Priority #3: Big Bat

The Yankees need offense! They averaged only 3.91 runs per game this past season, comfortably below the 4.18 league average. Improving the offense starts with Mark Teixeira, Carlos Beltran, and Brian McCann being better than they were last year, but, aside from McCann, how reasonable is it to expect that? Not very, in my opinion. The club should definitely look to bring in an impact bat.

Upton. (Scott Cunningham/Getty)
Upton. (Scott Cunningham/Getty)

Plan A: Trade for Justin Upton: Upton and Jason Heyward are both due to become free agents next winter and are looking at nine-figure contracts. Easily. The Braves are perpetually up against their $100M-ish payroll limit and don’t have the room to sign both long-term. Heck, they might not even be able to afford to sign one long-term unless they get a gift from the baseball gods and are able to unload B.J. Upton.

Heyward is the homegrown guy and better all-around player, plus he’s two years younger, so I assume the Braves would prioritize signing him long-term. Upton is a considerably better hitter (133 wRC+ vs. 110 wRC+ in 2014) and he’s right-handed, which fits the Yankees better. Their top right-handed power hitter right now is Martin Prado. The Yankees were unable to acquire Upton two offseasons ago because the D’Backs reportedly did not like their prospects, but two years have passed and Brian Cashman would be negotiating with an entirely different GM.

Now, would it be worth it to include Brett Gardner in a deal for Upton? One year of Upton for four of Gardner? Gardner just had a career year (certainly power-wise) and his days of stealing 40+ bases end three years ago. The Braves would get an outfielder with cost certainty, the Yankees would get a potential MVP-caliber producer in the prime of his career for one season before deciding whether to re-sign him. Upton would slide right into Gardner’s salary slot too. Maybe the deal could be expanded somehow. Either way, Upton is among my top targets this winter.

Plan B: Mike Morse: On paper, Morse fits the roster wonderfully. He’s a power right-handed bat, which the Yankees need, and he’s also able to play right field and first base. Poorly, I should add, but he can play them. Beltran and Teixeira are perpetual injury risks and so is Alex Rodriguez at DH. There will be plenty of at-bats for Morse next year. That said, the guy just hit in the middle of the order for the World Series champs. Why would he take a role like this when another team will probably give him a set position no questions asked? Morse is a great fit for the Yankees, but the Yankees might not be a great fit for Morse.

Priority #4: Second or Third Base

In addition to shortstop, the Yankees need to find someone to play second or third base. Prado’s flexibility allows them to pursue one or the other. They can’t and shouldn’t count on A-Rod playing the field at all. He’s a DH between inevitable DL stints.

Plan A: Re-sign Headley: Man, Chase Headley was so good for the Yankees after the trade this year. He didn’t produce like a star or anything, but he got on base (.371 OBP), hit for a little power (six homers in 58 games), and played the hell out of third base. Headley’s a switch-hitter, he’s only 30, and the general sense is he will only command a three or maybe four-year deal at a modest salary. He fit the team so well, giving them quality at-bats and excellent defense. Bringing him back and playing Prado at second is an easy call for me.

Plan B: Pirela or Refsnyder: If the Yankees are unable to re-sign Headley, they’re left with the same choices as at shortstop. Do they find a stopgap or give out big contracts to Hanley, Lowrie, or Asdrubal? I am against that. If they can’t re-sign Headley, I’d like to see them play Prado at third and let Jose Pirela and Rob Refsnyder battle it out at second base. Pirela’s debut was short but impressive in September and Refsnyder’s torn the cover of the ball the last two years in the minors. I’m not a fan of signing an imperfect free agent to fill a hole for the hell of it at this point. Let’s the kids play if Headley bolts.

Miller. (Patrick Smith/Getty)
Miller. (Patrick Smith/Getty)

Priority #5: Bullpen Help

This is one of those things that applies to every team. All 30 clubs go into the offseason looking to add bullpen depth, but not all 30 clubs may lose their excellent closer to free agency. The Yankees slapped the $15.3M qualifying offer on David Robertson earlier this week, though that doesn’t guarantee his return to New York. Far from it. It just means they won’t lose him for nothing if he does sign elsewhere.

Plan A, Part One: Re-sign Robertson: Easy call, right? Robertson has shown a) he is an elite reliever, b) he can close, and c) pitching in New York doesn’t bother him. What’s left on the “free agent reliever who makes sense for the Yankees” checklist? A three or four-year deal in the $10M to $12M range annually seems like the most likely outcome here. Robertson’s worth it.

Plan A, Part Two: Sign Andrew Miller: The power of a dominant bullpen got a lot of attention this postseason thanks to the Royals, but year after year we see how important it is to have multiple dominant relievers on the roster. Miller is more than a left-handed specialist. He’s a bonafide high-leverage reliever who just so happens to throw with his left arm. Miller, Robertson, and Dellin Betances is one hell of an end-game trio.

Plan B: Sign Miller & Others: Moshe mentioned this yesterday and I thought it was interesting: the Yankees could probably sign Miller and, say, Luke Gregerson for what it would take to sign Robertson by himself, and gain a draft pick in the process. That sounds pretty good, actually. I’d still rather have Robertson and Miller instead of Miller, Gregerson, and a draft pick though.

If Robertson does bolt, signing Miller to replace him in the late innings almost becomes a must. I have no concerns about Betances closing if that’s what it comes to, but the seventh and eighth innings would worry me in that case. Gregerson and Sergio Romo headline the second tier of free agent relievers and both have late-inning experience. I’d almost prefer letting someone like that start the ninth inning fresh and close while Miller and Betances handle the real messes.

One free agent reliever who I’d like to see the Yankees pursue regardless of what happens with Robertson is Luke Hochevar. He flopped as a starter with the Royals after being the first overall pick in the 2006 draft, but he found a niche in the bullpen in 2013 (1.92 ERA, 2.66 FIP, 31.3 K%) before missing all of 2014 following Tommy John surgery. Tommy John has a high success rate but it’s still risky, so the Yankees couldn’t count on Hochevar, but the potential is there for impact. His 2013 dominance sure makes him interesting.

* * *

I honestly think the Yankees are going to skip huge money contracts this winter in favor of many smaller deals — the McCarthy, Headley, and Robertson contracts won’t be “small” no matter where they end up, but they won’t be huge long-term deals either — that raise the floor of the roster. Fielding as many Major League caliber players as possible — did you know approximately 54% of the team’s plate appearances this summer (not counting pitchers) went to players with a sub-100 OPS+? it’s true — and build the deepest pitching staff possible. The Yankees are not one or two big free agents away from the postseason. They have a lot of areas that need to be improved.

Yankees outright Antoan Richardson to Triple-A

The Yankees have outrighted outfielder Antoan Richardson to Triple-A Scranton, the team announced. There are now 34 players on the 40-man roster. Richardson, 31, hit .271/.380/.364 (114 wRC+) with 26 steals in 27 attempts in 93 games for the RailRiders this summer before getting called up in September to serve as the club’s designated pinch-runner. He went 5-for-16 (.313) with five steals in 13 games for New York. Richardson will become a minor league free agent this week.

Tuesday Night Open Thread

Five years ago tonight, the Yankees beat the Phillies to win the 2009 World Series. Hideki Matsui gave New York the lead with a second-inning two-run homer off Pedro Martinez, and he solidified his World Series MVP case with a two-run single and a two-run double later in the game. Godzilla went 3-for-4 and drove in six of the team’s seven runs in Game Six. Andy Pettitte allowed three runs in 5.2 innings on three days’ rest, Joba Chamberlain threw a scoreless inning, Damaso Marte struck out both Chase Utley and Ryan Howard on six total pitches, and Mariano Rivera recorded the final five outs for the win. Marte striking out Utley with two on and two outs in the seventh was rather huge. Here’s the box score and here are all the videos from the game and post-game celebration.

This is your open thread for the night. ESPN is airing a 30 for 30 feature on Livan and Orlando Hernandez about their escape from Cuba at 9pm ET. I can’t wait to watch. The Knicks and Devils are both playing, and that’s pretty much it for local sports. Use this thread to talk about anything on your mind.