Dellin Betances has been one of the few bright spots this year for the Yankees, whose season has been inconsistent and underwhelming. According to Baseball Prospectus, they have a 0.2 percent chance at seeing postseason baseball and just were never able to get into a rhythm during the season.
Betances, on the other hand, has a 5-0 record, a 1.33 ERA and just broke one of Mariano Rivera’s franchise records.
— New York Yankees (@Yankees) September 18, 2014
“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.
In fact, no pitcher has more called strikes for strikeouts via a breaking pitch than Betances, and that includes Cy Young and MVP candidates Clayton Kershaw and Corey Kluber.
“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.”