Called on to pitch the eighth inning, Yankees reliever Dellin Betances walked four Blue Jays and recorded only one out before departing. He’s now up to 26 walks on the season in 27 1/3 innings and 123 batters faced. That’s an 8.56 BB/9 and a 21.1 percent walk rate.
Since 2000, there has been only one qualified reliever to post a walk rate of 20 percent or higher: Stephen Randolph had a 21.4 percent walk rate for the Diamondbacks in 2004. Aroldis Chapman came close with a 19.8 percent rate in 2011 with the Reds.
While Betances has never been a maven of control, he had a respectable 32/9 K/BB ratio in 17 1/3 innings and 68 batters faced through the end of May. That’s a 4.67 BB/9 and 13.2 percent walk rate. Since the start of June, his K/BB ratio is 18/17 in 10 innings and 55 batters faced; 15.3 BB/9 and 30.9%.
It’s not clear if Betances’ control issue is physical or mental. Either way, one wonders if a stint on the disabled list might be in his future. Betances was recently named to the American League All-Star roster.
Jon Morosi reports that the Blue Jays and starter Marco Estrada are nearing an agreement on a contract extension. The deal is expected to be for one guaranteed year, Morosi adds.
Estrada, 34, was set to become a free agent after the season. He earned $26 million on a two-year contract signed with the Jays in November 2015. While the right-hander has a subpar 4.84 ERA on the season, he has a solid 170/67 K/BB ratio in 176 2/3 innings and has looked much better since the end of July. Between July 31 and his most recent start on Saturday, Estrada owns a 3.75 ERA.
J.A. Happ is the only other starter technically under contract with the Jays next season. Marcus Stroman will be eligible for his second year of arbitration and the Jays will certainly agree to give him a raise on his $3.4 million salary for the 2017 season. The Jays will likely be active this offseason in adding rotation help and they’re starting early by locking up Estrada.
Red Sox center fielder Jackie Bradley, Jr. robbed Orioles first baseman Chris Davis of his 25th home run on Tuesday evening, leaping at the fence in center field to make the catch and keep the game scoreless in the bottom of the fifth inning.
Davis swung at the first pitch he saw from Drew Pomeranz, a slider that crossed the middle of the plate.
This game has potential playoff implications, as the first-place Red Sox hold a three-game lead over the Yankees in the NL East. Meanwhile, the Orioles are still in the AL Wild Card race, trailing the Twins by 5.5 games for the second Wild Card slot.