Yankees starting Betances (who?) vs. Rays

September, 28, 2011
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Rookie right-hander Dellin Betances will make the final start of the season Wednesday night for the New York Yankees against the Tampa Bay Rays in a game crucial to the determining of the AL wild-card representative.

Betances, 23, a 6-foot-8 native of Brooklyn, is expected to go no more than three innings and then give way to a procession of relief pitchers as the Yankees prepare to host Game 1 of the American League Division series against an as-yet-undetermined opponent Friday night.

If the Rays win, they will force a one-game playoff at Tropicana Field against the Boston Red Sox on Thursday to determine the AL wild-card winner. If Tampa Bay loses, they must depend upon the Baltimore Orioles to beat Boston in their season finale at Camden Yards.

The Yankees, meanwhile, are still waiting for the Detroit Tigers and Texas Rangers to play their final games Wednesday night. The Yankees will open at home against the No. 3 seed, currently the Tigers, but the teams are separated by just one game and their positions could reverse if Detroit loses to Cleveland and the Rangers beat the Angels. Then, the teams would finish in a tie but the Tigers would be the No. 2 seed by virtue of a better head-to-head record against Texas in the regular season.

Betances, who, along with Manny Banuelos and Andrew Brackman, is one of the three so-called "Killer Bs'' pitching prospects, spent most of the season with Double-A Trenton Thunder. In 21 starts, he compiled a 4-6 record and 3.42 ERA. Late in the season, he was promoted to Triple-A Scranton, where he went 0-3 with a 5.14 ERA in four starts.

Since being called up to the majors on Sept. 8, Betances has made one appearance for the Yankees, working 2/3 of an inning against the Rays Sept. 22 at Yankee Stadium, allowing two runs without giving up a hit -- he walked the bases loaded, forced in one run with a fourth walk and another by hitting a batter.

"I was really nervous,'' he said after the game. "I hope they give me another chance.''

And now they have, in their final game of the season.



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