A day after the Yankees suffered a walk-off loss to the Mets in their own stadium, they ended a seven-game losing streak when they won it in the bottom of the ninth.
Even in victory, they needed a gift from ex-Yankee Dellin Betances, as the right-hander’s wild pitch allowed Clint Frazier to score from third to score the winning run in a 2-1 win Saturday over the Mets in The Bronx.
The Yankees had already seen their bullpen give up yet another late lead, as Adam Ottavino ruined a terrific outing by J.A. Happ when he allowed a homer to Wilson Ramos, the first batter he faced when he took over for Happ with one out in the eighth.
However, Betances took Ottavino and the Yankees off the hook in the bottom of the ninth, as the Yankees avoided losing eight straight games for the first time since 1995.
Betances’ unravelling started with a leadoff walk to Frazier. After Brett Gardner struck out, Jordy Mercer singled to right, sending Frazier to third.
With Erik Kratz at the plate, Betances fired a wild pitch and Frazier came home easily.
It all came after Happ, who has publicly called out the Yankees for manipulating his starts to avoid his vesting option of $17 million from kicking in next season, delivered the best start by a Yankee this season.
Asked about the situation — and Happ’s accusations — before the game, GM Brian Cashman stated Happ has not pitched well this season or in 2019.
On Saturday, though, he was excellent, even if he didn’t get the win. Happ tossed 7 ¹/₃ scoreless innings in the 90-pitch outing and became the first Yankee starter to make it to the eighth inning this season.
The Yankees had taken another quick lead, courtesy of another Luke Voit homer in the first off Robert Gsellman.
It was Voit’s 12th home run of the season and seventh in his past nine games.
Gsellman settled down after the first. He allowed a triple to DJ LeMahieu with two outs in the third, as the drive just eluded Michael Conforto. Conforto slammed into the wall and stayed down, but remained in the game after a visit from the training staff.
Gsellman got Voit to ground out to get out of the inning.
The Yankees had another chance to add to their lead in the bottom of the fourth, but got two runners thrown out at home in the inning.
Mike Tauchman singled with one out and moved to third when Gsellman’s pickoff throw got away from Dom Smith. Frazier then grounded to third and Tauchman went on a contact play. He was thrown out by J.D. Davis. Gardner then laced a double to center, but an excellent relay by Billy Hamilton and Amed Rosario was enough to just get Frazier at the plate and keep it a one-run game.
That proved to be the final batter Gsellman faced, as the Mets went to Steven Matz to start the fifth after manager Luis Rojas said the left-hander would pitch in relief for the foreseeable future prior to the game.
Matz pitched a scoreless fifth, but was taken out after the inning despite Rojas saying he would be able to provide length out of the pen.
Gardner helped preserve the Yankees’ slim lead with an acrobatic catch of Davis’ long fly ball to left to start the seventh.
In the bottom of the inning, Frazier and Gardner drew walks off Brad Brach to lead off the inning, prompting a visit from pitching coach Jeremy Hefner.
Mercer followed by grounding into a forceout, as Brach threw to third to get Frazier. Kratz struck out before Mike Ford hit for Tyler Wade. Gardner moved to third on a wild pitch and Ford walked to load the bases.
Jeurys Familia came on to face LeMahieu. After falling behind 3-0, Familia got LeMahieu to ground to third on a full count pitch.
Happ had retired eight in a row when Aaron Boone pulled him with one out in the eighth and Ottavino continued the Yankees bullpen’s penchant for giving up huge homers, but Betances’ meltdown gave the Yankees their first win since Aug. 17.