Michael King entered Saturday as a candidate to start the nightcap of Sunday’s doubleheader against the Mets.
Instead the Yankees called on him Saturday to save the rest of the bullpen in an 8-3 loss to the Mets at the Stadium, as King struck out nine over four scoreless innings of mop-up duty to finish the game.
“Just having his length and not wanting to, at that point when we were down big, use up a bunch of guys when you know [you have] a doubleheader,” manager Aaron Boone said. “You want to keep a number of guys available. So fairly easy decision.”
Nestor Cortes will now start Game 2 on Sunday, with Gerrit Cole going in Game 1. Cortes last pitched on Tuesday, throwing 1 ²/₃ innings against the Angels, but Boone said he hopes to get him “a time or two through” the order.
Before Saturday, King’s previous six appearances had all been starts, as he took Corey Kluber’s spot in the rotation and posted a 5.47 ERA. Much of his struggles as a starter have come in the first inning, but he was sharp from the get-go Saturday out of the bullpen.
“He comes in really aggressive,” Boone said. “He was fairly dominant today out of the pen.”
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