The Yankees starting staff is strong, but of late it has been steady. Their ace threw 29 pitches last night, leaving open the possibility he could pitch again on Friday night. I say, why not?
Yankees starting pitcher, Luis Severino probably wishes he didn’t get out of bed yesterday. Able to record only one out while surrendering three runs, two of which came on home runs, Joe Girardi didn’t waste any time removing his 23-year old from the game. Kudos to Girardi for making a move as the Yankees went on to beat the Twins.
A key stat in last night’s box score shows that Severino threw only 29 pitches during his abbreviated outing. As of this writing, Joe Girardi has not announced his starting pitcher for tomorrow night’s opener against the Twins, nor has he indicated who will follow in games two and three.
It seems likely his choice will be Sonny Gray in the opener. This despite a somewhat rocky performance during his last start in the regular season. The other option is Masahiro Tanaka, who wowed everyone in his previous start with fifteen strikeouts over the final weekend of the season. Tanaka, however, has been up and down all year and if Girardi is fretting at all about handing him the ball in the critical “swing game” of the five-game series, he should consider going back to Severino, the most consistent Yankees pitcher over the course of the season.
Severino is young and impressionable, but despite his rude awakening to playoff baseball, he’s a big strong man with a competitive edge that rivals his mentor, Pedro Martinez. He remained on the Yankees bench for the entire game and did not appear to be the least bit fazed by what had happened to him.
Yankees know Severino is a “gamer”
In short, he’s a “gamer” in the same mold as Martinez was and CC Sabathia is now. Plus, he has something to prove now.
It’s not likely the Yankees will score eight runs off Cleveland’s Corey Kluber. Therefore, the need to keep the Indians down is imperative. Sabathia could do it as he has so many times in the playoffs and World Series before. But length with CC is the issue. Five or six innings and he will max out turning the game over to the bullpen. Which isn’t so bad, but we can’t keep hoping lightning will strike again as it did last night.
Severino can toss eight innings sitting down and even if he only goes seven, it’s Girardi’s choice for the eighth, and then, Aroldis Chapman is there to work his magic in the ninth.
A lot, of course, depends on what happens in the first game tomorrow night. With a loss, the Yankees cannot afford another before coming home to play the middle game. With a win, Girardi might be more inclined to start Tanaka in the second game, saving Severino for Game Three at the Stadium.
But using Severino before then should not be out of the question.