“Just to be mentioned around his name, you’re talking about the best closer, the best reliever in the game,” said Betances. “Just to be around the same breath as him, I take thrill in that.”
A large part of Betances’s success can be traced to his breaking pitch, which could be a slider, a curve, or a mixture of the two.
“My slider is like a slurve,” Betances said earlier this year. “I don’t know what to call it.”
Whatever it is, he has thrown it 625 times this season over 156 at-bats, and hitters are averaging just 0.071 against it: Six singles, three doubles, one triple and one home run. They swing and miss more than 52 percent of the time, with left-handed batters particularly vulnerable low and inside.
“You think about the people that he passed these past few weeks: Goose Gossage and Mariano Rivera,” Manager Joe Girardi said. “One Hall of Famer and one just has to wait his turn, basically. It’s pretty impressive what he’s done.”