‘I feel really comfortable with that mound’: What Brayan Bello said following another quality start vs. Yankees

Red Sox

Bello gave up just one run in six innings against the Yankees on Friday, adding to his list of already strong outings against New York in his career.

Brayan Bello pitched a quality start for the Red Sox on Friday. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

Brayan Bello didn’t need to be too sharp against the Yankees on Friday after the Red Sox jumped out to a 7-0 lead in the second inning, but the promising righty managed to get back on track.

The 24-year-old gave up just one run on six hits, one walk, and four strikeouts over six innings pitched in the Red Sox’ 8-3 win over the Yankees.

Bello’s performance was certainly a positive sign considering some struggles he’s had of late. He gave up four runs on nine hits in 4 2/3 innings in his previous start against the Tigers last Saturday, which was the third time in five starts following the All-Star break that he’d given up at least four runs.

But the Red Sox’ bats getting off to a quick jump allowed him to settle in early and not have to worry about any pitch changing the game.

“I felt a little bit relaxed with that lead, seven runs after two innings,” Bello told reporters through team translator Carlos Villoria Benítez. “It was really good. My mindset changed completely, just to try to attack batters. I tried to get out of the innings as quickly as I could so I get the guys back to hit.”

What also helped Bello is that the Yankees are a team he’s dominated so far in his young career. Following Friday’s start, Bello holds a 1.45 ERA with 25 strikeouts and a 1.097 WHIP in 31 innings over five outings against the Yankees.

Bello’s pitched well at Yankee Stadium, too. He’s posted a 1.89 ERA with 11 strikeouts and a 1.053 WHIP over 19 innings pitched in three career starts at what’s considered a hitter-friendly ballpark – especially for left-handed hitters with the short porch in right field.

“I feel really comfortable with that mound … The mound is nice,” Bello said. “Although, the ballpark is small in a couple places. So I don’t want anybody to hit it [to right field]. I feel like that’s the reason why I pitch so well here.”

Bello did a good job of preventing the Yankees from hitting to right field. They recorded just two hits, both singles, hitting to the right side of the field.

The only run Bello gave up Friday came after an Anthony Volpe double to center to lead off the third inning. A pair of fielder’s choices allowed Volpe to score, but that was fine for the Red Sox considering the lead they had.

Bello pitched to his greatest strength for much of Friday’s game. He induced nine groundballs that led to outs, including two that led to double plays over his final two innings of work. Two of the six hits he allowed were infield singles.

As Bello pitched closer to the version of himself that was strong through much of May and June, his manager didn’t have any doubts about him getting back to that level over some shaky performances recently.

“He’s good against everybody,” Alex Cora said. “I think we get caught up sometimes on [him giving up] three runs in six innings. The lefties are hitting him and all that but it’s part of the progression. He’s still learning and he’s good.

“Today, he did a good job finding the strike zone after we got the lead and gave us six strong innings to put us in a good spot.”

Bello is also breathing a sigh of relief.

“It feels good to be able to bounce back like that,” Bello said. “I know the last few starts haven’t bene really good for me, and to be able to go deep into the game and throw six here is really important for me. I’m happy I was able to help the team get the win.”

Originally posted 2023-08-19 15:02:00.