Luis Severino proving he’s not a true ace for Yankees
It’s all gone horribly wrong for Luis Severino.
The right-hander once labeled as the ace of the New York Yankees has possibly ended his season on one of the sourest notes possible.
Entrusted with a huge start in Game 3 of the American League Division Series against the arch-rival Boston Red Sox, Severino not only struggled, he imploded.
The 24-year-old lasted just three-plus innings, allowing three runs in the second and third innings before loading the bases without recording a single out in the fourth before getting the hook. After a walk to Brock Holt and a double by Andrew Benintendi, the book closed on Severino as he allowed six runs on seven hits in what became a 16-1 drubbing at the hands of the Red Sox.
It was the worst loss in the franchise’s postseason history, one that let the air out of the balloon after a huge win in Boston in Game 2 on Saturday night.
While the start by Severino and the ensuing loss was an embarrassment, it was par for the course for the starter.
His final 14 starts of the regular season saw his ERA rocket from 1.98 to 3.39, a 5.67 mark during that stretch. It was an enormous red flag for a Yankees team that has lacked quality starting pitching all year, which forced GM Brian Cashman to go out and make a deal for Lynn and J.A. Happ.
While Lynn was unfairly thrust into a bases-loaded, no-out jam, he didn’t necessarily hit his stride after being acquired from the Minnesota Twins at the deadline. Happ though was one of the most important acquisitions of the summer as he went 7-0 with a 2.69 ERA in 11 starts after being picked up from the Toronto Blue Jays. But even he looked mortal in Game 1 of the ALDS as he was tagged for five earned in two-plus innings of work.
Luis Severino was behind the 8-ball to start
Severino’s outing was bad enough, but what makes things worse was his alleged preparation for Game 3, which is only going to bring more heat on his shoulders.
For a game that started at 7:40 p.m. ET, Severino didn’t get to the bullpen to start warming up for the game until 7:32 p.m. Generally, starting pitchers will be out in the pen warming up 20-to-30 minutes prior to the start of any game, especially a postseason affair.
While manager Aaron Boone defended him, saying he properly prepared, the optics are horrendous. Either Severino forgot what the time the game started or he sincerely thought that he could get warm and ready to take on one of the game’s most potent offenses in less than 10 minutes.
That’s not how an ace and possible soon-to-be leader of an overhauled pitching staff performs.
The rotation is going to be the No. 1 priority on Cashman’s offseason checklist this winter. While replacements for the likes of CC Sabathia and Sonny Gray were already known to have been needed, the Yankees might want to pick up an elite-level arm that cannot only spin a gem in big games but can set the right example of the proper preparation needed to pitch in the playoffs.