There are few safer bets for a bullpen than Dellin Betances—which makes sense, seeing as how he strikes out more than 40 percent of the batters he faces. So when the Yankees handed Betances a 5-2 lead in the ninth inning of Thursday’s game against the Red Sox, a win seemed all but guaranteed.
It was not.
What had been a 5-1 Yankees lead in the seventh had slipped to 5-2 in the eighth (with a David Ortiz home run, because of course he’d be the one to start the comeback). The Yankees put Blake Parker on the mound to start the ninth but were quick to switch to Betances with one on and one out. And in a weird turn of events, it went extremely poorly. A walk, a fielder’s choice that led to an out at home, two singles, a passed ball that moved runners over and —
(if you’re on mobile, watch here).
With two outs and two on, Hanley Ramirez played the hero to walk it off and end the night, 7-5 Red Sox. That was five runs in the bottom of the ninth and four attributed to Betances, his worst outing of the year by far. And enough for the Red Sox to turn a one-game lead into two, while the Yankees fell two-and-a-half games back in the wild card race, as the AL East remains the most interesting division in baseball.