Photo credit: Getty Images
As soon as sport’s leagues release their schedules, pundits chime in with predictions on how they see things unfolding over the course of the season. So-called experts from far and wide chime in with “Their 2 Sense” on which teams they think will be good, and which will be less than stellar. Well, yours truly gets into the action as well. Unfortunately in this department, My 2 Sense is usually not even worth that much. Take for instance this year’s baseball season, boy did I have it all wrong. I bought all of the preseason buzz around the Seattle Mariners, and they’re now 43-51 and 10.5 games out of 1st place in American League West. My worst call though was having a total disregard for the New York Yankees.
Never in my wildest dreams did I see them as serious contenders for a playoff spot, let alone leading the American League East by 4.5 games as of this writing. How is that possible? Yes, the Pinstripers are getting big bounce back seasons from Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira, Michael Pineda, and Masahiro Tanaka, but Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller have been awesome! When the Yanks provide them with a lead by the seventh inning, you can put it in the books (footnote to Howie Rose). It’s why I refer to them as Over and Out.
The back of the Bombers bullpen is so bullish, it reminds of the Joba Chamberlain/Mariano Rivera one two punch that retired everyone except for those midges in Cleveland back in 2007. Betances has really come into his own. The one-time uber prospect (along with Manny Banuelos), made back to back All-Star teams and has certainly fulfilled his promise. At 6-8, and weighing 265 pounds he is intimidating, but then he also throws the ball in high 90’s. Last year in 90 innings pitched, he struck out 135 poor souls and only allowed a ridiculous 46 hits. This season Dellin is dealin’ again (50.1 IP, 81 K’s, 21 hits); hence the nickname – Over.
As for Miller, it pains me to see my old Red Sox reliever put it all together for New York. He always had a blazing fastball and wipe-out slider, it’s just that for years he didn’t always know where they were going. His career really took off in 2012 when Boston banished him to the bullpen full-time. His signing with the “Evil Empire” this winter was hard to swallow, but to now watch him dominate for them is even worse. The beard-less Miller has converted all 21 save opportunities he’s been given, and in 32.1 innings pitched has 51 strikeouts, while only yielding 11 hits and 11 bases on balls. Those numbers are filthy! I also think the time he spent on the disabled list will make him stronger down the stretch. This season, quite frankly, when Andrew Miller makes his way to the mound, the opposing team’s lights are about to go Out!
Much to my chagrin, if the Yankees continue to get pretty good starting pitching, and Jacoby Ellsbury and Brett Gardner get on base for the boppers to drive home, they will be a tough out. That’s because Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller have innings 7, 8, and 9 on lock down.
And for this week, My 2 sense is Over and Out.