From the Gary Sheffield-like bat wiggle to swinging for the fences, Dellin Betances' first at-bat was a riot
Interleague series present the possibility of something we don't get to see all the time: American League relief pitchers hitting. Double switches in the late innings sometimes prevent this from happening, but it definitely did happen in the Yankees' 4-2 win over the Phillies on Monday night.
Having entered the game in the seventh inning to preserve a 2-1 lead,
Opting to hit without batting gloves and employ a bat wiggle that would make Gary Sheffield proud, Betances put on a show:
He may have struck out on three pitches, but it was probably one of the most entertaining strikeouts ever.
bAN ThE DH. pic.twitter.com/8HZH40foyI— Cut4 (@Cut4) June 26, 2018
As Betances explained to MLB.com's Bryan Hoch after the game, the Sheffield bat wag was no coincidence:
Betances on his AB: "I tried to go out there and do my best Gary Sheffield impression. I didn't make any contact, though. I used to hit like that in high school, goofing around and stuff. Gary, I liked to watch him play and liked the way he hit."— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) June 26, 2018
It'd been a while since Betances stood in the box for an at-bat:
"I hit in high school, but it's been 12 years. It's just crazy because out of anybody in this clubhouse, I didn't want to hit. I was telling all the pitchers, 'I don't want an AB! It's been 12 years. I'm not going to look good out there.' But it was definitely fun. My teammates got a kick out of it."
"I'm in favor of this DH thing," Yankees manager Aaron Boone quipped. "That's what I'm thinking. That said, I thought he had some pretty good swings. They were violent, but he was on it. My heart skipped a beat about seven times now watching our pitchers swing the bat. I don't love it.
"It was fun to look at up there with the waggle, and how big he is."
Credit to Betances for standing in there and essentially doing a reverse