The Yankees homegrown starter-turned stud reliever has had back to back stellar years and, Opening Day blip aside (that really wasn't his fault), Betances looks just as dominant in the early going this year.
In the opener of the first series against the division rival Blue Jays, Betances was summoned by manager Joe Girardi to face bat flipping expert Jose Bautista in the 7th inning with the tying run on base. Betances threw the first two pitches out of the strike zone before battling back to a 3-2 count. He then proceeded to end the AB by unleashing a devastating, knee buckling curveball to Bautista that left the veteran slugger simply too helpless to react to.
If the Twitterverse had a voice, it would have uttered a collective, appreciative "Ooooooo!!" Betances's knuckle curve ball was just that beautiful. MLB's twitter account put it best: Buckled. Bautista barely took his bat off his shoulder.
Betances calmly walked off the mound then came back out to pitch a perfect 8th, adding two more strikeouts to his season total of 9 in just 4 IP.
Most pitchers of his caliber are closing out ball games, shaking hands with the catcher at the end and racking up those salary earning saves. Betances, though, is relegated to the 7th / 8th inning (and perhaps 6th / 7th upon the return of Aroldis Chapman) and serves as a vital multi inning weapon for Girardi.
He does the job as diligently, quietly and masterfully as you could hope. If the Yankees are to succeed this year, their homegrown star, his blazing fastball, devastating hook and calm demeanor will definitely be a contributing factor. No matter what innings he's pitching.