Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Sharpening a Mighty Pen

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Sharpening a Mighty Pen

Article excerpt

NEW YORK - Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller had just gone 6-for- 6, combining to strike out every Seattle Mariners hitter they faced - putting an end to Sunday's tight game and leaving their catcher in a state of awe.

"I can't say enough about those guys. Those guys are ridiculous," Brian McCann said after the Yankees' 4-3 victory. "They're as uncomfortable an at-bat as you can have in baseball.

"I've been catching it for two years now and it's a pleasure."

Soon enough, McCann will catch the third member of a unique, late- inning power trio.

Aroldis Chapman's arrival date is May 9, following a 30-game MLB suspension for violation of the game's domestic abuse policy. Upon his entrance, Chapman will assume the closer's role from Miller.

"I don't think it'll be a problem because it's not going to be a surprise," said manager Joe Girardi, who dubbed Chapman as his closer in January. "I've said all along, those guys are used to pitching in different situations.

"Andrew made a really strong statement when we acquired Chapman; he's here to win and I don't think that will change."

And Miller doubled down on that sentiment after Sunday's game.

"I've been something other than a closer the majority of my career. I basically, for a year, had that title or position or whatever," Miller said. "Whatever we can do to win is honestly what's most important. I think you're going to hear that from all 25 guys here."

Even with Chapman currently toiling in extended spring training games, the bullpen has been the Yankees' signature strength over the season's first two weeks.

Miller has struck out 70.6 percent of batters he's faced (12-for- 17), while Betances is at 62.5 percent (15-for-24).

"It seems whatever I do, he does it better," said Betances, already a two-time AL All-Star as a setup man. "We do feed off each other's energy [and] he's been efficient. …

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