Betances, Miller have rare off night

July 3rd, 2016

SAN DIEGO -- While it always registers a certain amount of surprise when any member of their "No Run DMC" relief trio stumbles, the Yankees' biggest gripe on Saturday night was that they produced just one run against Drew Pomeranz and two Padres relievers.

"It's unusual to see them give up runs," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said after Andrew Miller took the loss in San Diego's 2-1 victory. "They really don't give up runs. The problem tonight was, we didn't score."

Still, Dellin Betances and Miller were prepared to shoulder their share of the blame, with Melvin Upton Jr. launching Miller's first pitch of the ninth inning over the left-field fence for the deciding blow.

"I just wasn't very good," Miller said. "It's not where I wanted to throw that ball, and I paid for it, unfortunately. It would've been nice to get [my teammates] some more at-bats. I just didn't do my job."

Miller was beginning his second inning of work after navigating around a leadoff walk to Travis Jankowski in the eighth, and he said he never really felt sharp over the course of his 20-pitch outing.

He said the pitch to Upton was supposed to be down and away but caught too much of the plate, sealing the Bombers' 41st loss in 80 games this season.

"We're not where we need to be," Miller said. "Certainly, I don't feel good about tonight, but it's a long season and I think we've got a lot of time. We just need to go on a run, and this group is capable of that."

Betances entered after Ivan Nova turned in one of his best outings of the season, handing the ball off to the bullpen after walking Wil Myers with one out in the sixth inning. Girardi said that because Nova has had trouble facing teams the third time through their order this year, he wanted to go to his best relievers.

Within the span of two pitches, the Yankees' one-run lead had evaporated.

Myers bolted for second base on Betances' first offering to Matt Kemp, swiping the bag on Betances and his high leg kick.

"Maybe I'll start working on that more," Betances said. "I can't just give an easy base. I know I can get out of it, and I have confidence that I can get out of it. I'm trying to make the best pitches I can, and sometimes when I'm a little quick, I feel like from time to time I'll make mistakes -- either a home run or an extra-base hit. I was just trying to focus on the hitter. I'll try to work on it from here on out."

Betances' next pitch was served into right field by Kemp on a check swing, rolling for a run-scoring double that knotted the game.

"I'm frustrated there just because you can't really do anything about that," Betances said. "He got the hit and I don't like giving up anybody's runs. Nova did a phenomenal job today and I was trying to do my best to protect that. I was a little frustrated with that hit."