Dellin Betances is Pitching Like the Closer We've Always Dreamed of Him Becoming

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When Aroldis Chapman went down a few weeks ago with shoulder inflammation I got a cold shiver down the back of my spine. While Chappy rested and healed up, that would mean Dellin Betances would be re-taking over as the Yankees closer for the foreseeable future. We all remember the woes of last September, but what people don’t realize is Dellin had a month of absolute stardom as the closer before that. In the month of August, Betances racked up seven saves over 13.1 IP, striking out 21 batters and posted a 0.68 ERA. September was another story and there’s no true pin point of what went wrong, but my best guess was it was a combination of fatigue and loss of confidence.

Being a major league closer takes a mindset unlike any other, and it for sure takes some getting used to if you’ve been an eighth inning man most of your career. That’s anywhere, whether you’re playing in Arizona, Seattle, Tampa Bay, anywhere. But being the closer of the New York Yankees, and following in the foot steps of the greatest closer of all time, is a whole different animal. Dellin went into the offseason with some question marks after his atrocious September, but it in no way shape or form should’ve ignored what he’d done for New York his whole career prior. What do I mean by that? I mean being one of the most dominating relief pitchers in all of baseball. Posting 100+ strikeouts in back to back seasons while posting ERA’s of 1.40 and 1.50 in 2014 and 2015, earning him all-star selections both years. If you take out the last month of 2016 then his numbers matched up pretty similar as well, and he made the all star team once again because of it.

So when Betances had his arbitration meeting with the Yankees’ heads, he asked for a measly $5 million after making a little over 500k the last few years. Nothing over the top in my mind, but to Randy Levine, the Yankees President, it was erroneous on all accounts.

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This cocksucker had to open his mouth. He just HAD TO. He famously compared Dellin asking for $2 million more than they expected to the likes of Levine calling himself an astronaut instead of the Yankees President. When this all was going on I lost my mind. The backbone of the current New York Yankees is their incredible bullpen. What do championship teams have these days? Dominant bullpens. Why on God’s Green Earth would you upset our dominant set up man and backup closer over TWO MILLION DOLLARS. It was insane.

You could tell it lit a fire under Betances to be the best he’s ever been. Was this Randy Levine’s master plan? Don’t get too ahead of yourselves, this guy is a fucking moron. He should have never talked so poorly about a star on a team, who really wasn’t out of line in the first place. Dellin didn’t get a DUI, he didn’t fight a player in the clubhouse, he didn’t do PEDs. All he did was ask for a little bit of a raise after pitching his ass off for the better part of three seasons. Well, now Chapman is hurt and Dellin has turned his game to a new level. It’s a “Fuck You Randy Levine” type of level and the rest of baseball is feeling his wrath.

Through 15.2 IP this year Betances has allowed one earned run while striking out 29 men, and surrendering only eight hits. Since taking over for Chapman, Dellin has been insanely good, converting all four saves and seeing just one man reach base. Last night after the Royals were mystified by Luis Severino through eight marvelous innings, it didn’t get any easier when Betances strolled out to say good night.

No one stood a chance in hell of connecting on a ball in play.

His outing over the weekend against the Rays where he converted a four-out save, was dazzling to say the least

Leaving Steven Souza Jr. looking like that to end the game was purely illegal, and I’d like to extend and apology to the Souza family on behalf of Dellin. You can see a different pitcher in Betances right now, he has this confidence that he knows you have no chance at the dish.

The Yankees tend to err on the side of caution with injuries, especially to prized players, so I wouldn’t expect Chapman back for a little while still. As long as Dellin is pitching like this there’s no reason to rush back Chapman. Let him rest that arm of his as long as he needs because we’re going to need him and Betances shutting the door each and every night down the stretch. Now it’s important that Adam Warren needs to snap out of his recent funk and Tyler Clippard to take charge of the eighth in the mean time, but if I’m the Yanks I’m telling Chappy to take as long as possible and make sure he’s right when he returns.

Follow me on Twitter @ehubbs13

Go Yanks