NEW YORK -- With the Yankees leading the Astros in the ninth inning on Monday, manager Joe Girardi had the perfect low-leverage situation to get reliever Dellin Betances a chance to find some confidence and get back on track.But Betances' control issues continued, and he walked Marwin Gonzalez on four
NEW YORK -- With the Yankees leading the Astros in the ninth inning on Monday, manager Joe Girardi had the perfect low-leverage situation to get reliever Dellin Betances a chance to find some confidence and get back on track.
But Betances' control issues continued, and he walked Marwin Gonzalez on four pitches and Derek Fisher on six to put the first two men aboard. It elicited boos from the crowd at Yankee Stadium and Girardi removed Betances from the game to bring in right-hander Tommy Kahnle to preserve an 8-1 win in Game 3 of the American League Championship Series presented by Camping World.
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"It's tough, man," Betances said. "I can't keep putting my teammates in those situations. My job is to go out there and have a clean inning, and the next thing you know, Kahnle has to clean up my mess like last time. Aroldis [Chapman] had to warm up. That's what upsets me the most. I know I'm better than that."
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After Betances departed, Kahnle gave up a single to Cameron Maybin, struck out George Springer, walked Alex Bregman to bring home a run and got Jose Altuve to ground into a double play to end the game. Kahnle, who has yet to get charged with a run in eight innings this postseason, threw 15 pitches after throwing two innings in Game 2. Girardi said he's not sure if Kahnle will be available for Game 4.
"Everyone is going to have their ups and downs," Kahnle said of Betances. "It could be a confidence thing. I don't talk to him too much about it. But I know I've gone through the same thing. It's tough, but I'm very confident he'll get out of it."
Betances, an All-Star for the fourth straight year, posted a 5.59 ERA with seven walks in 9 2/3 innings in September and had trouble in his last relief appearance, walking two straight batters in the eighth inning against the Indians in Game 4 of the AL Division Series presented by Doosan. He threw a scoreless inning in Game 1 of that ALDS, striking out all three batters he faced. Betances picked up the loss in Game 2, throwing two scoreless frames before giving up the winning run after issuing a leadoff walk in the 13th inning.
"He's out of whack," Girardi said. "He's went through it a couple of times this year, and we've seemingly been able to get him on track a number of different times. And we're still trying to do that. Because I still think he's really important to us and we need him. So we'll continue to try to fix it."
Betances went through similar issues in June and July, but he turned it around to record a 1.50 ERA in 12 innings in August. He said he's physically fine, but he blamed his mechanics for the walks, saying he was yanking pitches and his timing is off. Betances downplayed the suggestion that it's a mental issue, but clearly something isn't quite right with him, and Girardi isn't going to use him in big spots until he figures it out.
"I'll continue to keep my head up," Betances said. "I've been in this situation and I've gotten myself out of it. So I need to stay positive. The good thing is we're winning these games, but I can't keep this to my guys in these situations."
Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter **@RhettBollinger** and **Facebook**.