In Derek Jeter’s final Subway Series game, the Yankees beat the New York Mets 1-0 at Citi Field on Thursday night as Chase Whitley pitched 4.2 shutout innings innings in his major-league debut. He walked two, gave up two hits and recorded four strikeouts while helping the Yankees split the season series with the Mets.
Joe Girardi could not have asked for much more from Whitley, who replaced Carlos Beltran on the active roster, and part of the reason he took him out when he did is because he knew he had Dellin Betances available to throw two innings. In seven games and six starts this season for Triple-A Scranton Whitley had a very good 2.39 ERA.
“To be in Scranton and then all of a sudden be here is unbelievable,” Whitley said after the game. Girardi was very satisfied and with how the rookie from Alabama stepped up in his first Subway Series. “I was impressed with what he did,” Girardi said. “To be able to control his emotions in a series like this is pretty impressive.”
David Robertson got his first save of more than one inning of the season, but Betances’s performance is the one that truly stands out. In the bottom of the sixth, Betances impressively struck out the three most powerful hitters in the Mets lineup – Daniel Murphy, David Wright and Curtis Granderson. He now has a remarkable 39 strikeouts and only nine walks in 22.1 innings pitched.
Girardi on Dellin Betances: “He has got a gift. He has got a very good fastball and a very good curveball.”
Catcher Brian McCann was impressed by the dominating reliever who went to high school in Brooklyn. “He is getting more confidence every time out,” McCann said. “He is starting to execute more now than he was earlier in the season.”
The Yankees were able to score the only run of the game in the seventh as Alfonso Soriano hit a clutch two-out double to deep center to drive in McCann. Soriano was the only Yankee with two hits and now has two multi-hit games in his last five. Whitley was even able to single to right in his first career at-bat.
Robertson, Adam Warren and Betances pitched out of the bullpen and they all struck out two or more batters. Betances got his second win of the season after striking out six and not allowing a hit or a walk. After Eric Young Jr. grounded out to third, Betances struck out the next six batters that he faced.
Girardi likes the ability that his bullpen has to record strikeouts. “We have some power at the back end, and when you have that you are going to get strikeouts, and those are very important,” Girardi said.
Pitching coach Larry Rothschild and Girardi have rightfully been showing more and more confidence in Betances, who was switched to pitching in relief last season, and he rewarded them tonight. In his two appearances before Thursday’s game, he combined to pitch 2.2 innings, allow one hit and strike out three. It seems that he is beyond his control issues that hurt him earlier in his career.
“I am just trying to make pitches,” Betances said after the game. “If I can get ahead I know I can try and put some guys away. Today is one of those days that I was able to do that. I am just happy we got the win. I grew up watching the Subway Series.” Betances added that Whitley is a good friend of his and is happy he pitched well.
Before the game, the Mets honored Jeter with a No. 2 mosaic designed using subway tiles and donated $22,222.22 to his Turn 2 Foundation.
The Yankees (21-19), who are now a half-game behind the Baltimore Orioles in the closely contested Al East, will try for their third consecutive shutout when they start a three-game interleague series at home against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Friday at 7:05 p.m.