To say that Dellin Betances couldn’t find the zone today is to be extremely generous and extenuative about the whole thing, as should be pretty apparent from the strike zone plot below:
The Yankees reliever walked four of the five batters he faced today, leading the team to their third loss in his last four appearances—a stretch in which he’s faced 20 batters and walked half of them. That’s 10 walks in 2.2 innings of work. It’s been a miserable week and a half in a season that’s grown increasingly frustrating for Betances, who now boasts the best strikeout rate in baseball alongside the worst walk rate. Getting out more than 40 percent of batters out via strikeout can only do so much for you when more than 20 percent are getting on base via walk.
Walks aside, Betances has seen better results in just about every other aspect of his game this season as compared to last—he’s giving up fewer hits than he has in three years, he’s holding opponents to a slugging percentage under .200 for the first time in his career, and he’s cut his home run rate nearly in half. But walks aside is a pretty goddamn huge caveat when you’re a reliever walking 8.56 per nine innings.
In related news, today’s 7-6 loss to the Blue Jays slips the Yankees four and a half games back of the Red Sox for the top spot in the AL East.