J.A. Happ’s frustration boiled over this week, the veteran left-hander expressing his displeasure with a sporadic starting schedule. Healthy and believing that he could help the Yankees win games, he just needed a chance to prove it.
Happ backed those words on Saturday, hurling 7 1/3 terrific scoreless innings in a return to the rotation. Though the club’s relief woes continued immediately after his exit, Dellin Betances uncorked a wild pitch against his former club in the ninth inning, allowing the Yanks to snap their seven-game skid with a 2-1 Subway Series victory over the Mets at Yankee Stadium.
Clint Frazier walked to open the ninth against Betances, then advanced to third base on a Jordy Mercer one-out single before Betances fired a fastball to the screen. It was the Yanks’ first walk-off win of the year, coming after Adam Ottavino surrendered a game-tying Wilson Ramos home run that clanged off the left-field foul pole in the eighth inning, marking the bullpen’s fourth consecutive blown lead with six or fewer outs to go.
Scattering three hits without a walk, Happ struck out five in a 90-pitch effort that marked his first start in 13 days. Having defeated the Red Sox on Aug. 16, Happ likely would have faced the Mets last weekend at Citi Field, but those games were postponed due to COVID-19 concerns.