New York Yankees Recap: Luis Severino’s Debut Ruined By Steven Wright; Red Sox Beat Yankees 2-1
Wednesday marked the debut of the New York Yankees top pitching prospect, Luis Severino. The 21-year-old Severino, who became the youngest starter in the MLB in 2015, had went 9-2 with a 2.45 ERA in 19 starts between Double-A Trenton and Triple-A Scranton, including going 7-0 with a 1.91 ERA in 11 Triple-A starts.
Severino started out strong with a 1-2-3 first inning, which saw him strike out Xander Bogaerts for his first career strikeout. Severino also picked up some help from Stephen Drew who made a nice play to take a hit away from David Ortiz.
The Boston Red Sox sent knuckleballer Steven Wright to the mound, who responded with a strong first inning of his own, striking out the side, despite walking Brett Gardner.
Severino seemed to have another perfect inning, but Chase Headley committed a throwing error, his 18th of the season, which allowed Mike Napoli to reach second base with two outs. The Red Sox capitalized on Headley’s mistake, as Alejandro De Aza took advantage of Severino’s first mistake, scoring Napoli with a double, though an earned run wasn’t charged to Severino, who responded by striking out Blake Swihart to end the inning.
Wright continued to pitch well, working around a leadoff walk to Carlos Beltran, while picking up two more strikeouts in the process. Severino responded with another perfect inning, striking out two more batters, bringing his total up to four through three innings. Through the first three innings, Wright battled pitch-for-pitch with Severino, working his first 1-2-3 inning in the third, and also picking up his sixth strikeout.
Ortiz led off the fourth inning with his 21st home run of the year, giving the Red Sox a 2-0 lead. For Severino, the home run by Ortiz, his fellow native of Dominican Republic, was his first career earned run. Severino didn’t allow a single home run in Triple-A, and responded by setting down the next three batters, striking out two more Red Sox hitters.
Severino looked strong once again in the fifth, setting down the Red Sox in order, while also picking up his seventh strikeout. The bottom of the fifth saw the Yankees pick up their first hit of the night, a single by Didi Gregorius. After a two-out single by John Ryan Murphy, which put Gregorius at second base, Wright was able to strike out Jacoby Ellsbury for the third time in three at-bats.
In the top of the sixth, Adam Warren replaced Severino after 94 pitches (59 strikes) by the young right-hander. Severino’s final line in his MLB debut was very strong, though he left with no opportunity for a win. He finished with seven strikeouts and no walks in five innings pitched, allowing only two hits and two runs (one earned), looking very comfortable on a Major League mound for the first time. Severino became the first pitcher in AL history to allow two hits or fewer while striking out at least seven and walking none. Warren worked a 1-2-3 inning replacing Severino.
After another perfect inning from Wright, Warren found himself in trouble after striking out Hanley Ramirez to lead off the inning. A double by Pablo Sandoval followed by Warren hitting Napoli gave the Red Sox a chance to extend their lead, but Warren was able to strike out De Aza and get Swihart to fly out, ending the threat.
Leading off the seventh inning, Beltran cut the Red Sox lead to 2-1 with a solo home run to right field, his ninth of the season. Wright was able to respond to the home run by retiring the next three Yankees in order, including a strikeout of Drew, his ninth of the night. Warren was able to work a perfect eighth inning, his third of the night.
After a leadoff single by Murphy, the Red Sox received a lucky break, as Ellsbury, who probably should have bunted, hit what would have been a single up the middle that likely would have moved Murphy to third, but after deflecting off of the shoe of Wright, ended up becoming a double play, putting the Yankees threat to rest. Wright was able to get Gardner to pop out, sending the game to the ninth with the Yankees trailing 2-1.
Chasen Shreve relieved Warren to begin the ninth inning, retiring Ortiz and Ramirez to begin the inning. After a double by Sandoval and an intentional walk to Napoli, Shreve walked pinch-hitter Rusney Castillo, loading the bases for Swihart. Shreve was able to recover, however, striking out Swihart to end the threat.
In the bottom half of the ninth, Koji Uehara entered for the Red Sox to face the heart of the Yankees lineup. Uehara was able to get Alex Rodriguez to pop out behind the plate for the first out, but Mark Teixeira followed with a single, that was initially ruled an out, but after an official review, the call was overturned. Pinch-running for Teixeira, Chris Young advanced to second base on a wild pitch with just one out.
With a runner in scoring position and one out, Uehara was able to get Beltran, who was representing the tying run, to fly out to center field. Headley, who allowed the Red Sox first run, stepped in representing the Yankees last chance. With a 3-1 count, the Red Sox caught another huge break, as Uehara attempted a pickoff that kicked away from Bogaerts, but bounced right to Brock Holt. After a walk to Headley, Yankees manager sent Brian McCann, who didn’t start to due soreness in his knees, to the plate to pinch-hit for Gregorius. McCann responded by flying out to center field, ending the Yankees threat and the game simultaneously.
Although Severino looked strong in his debut, one that could even be called historic, ultimately, Red Sox starter Wright was able to outduel the Yankees rookie, leading the Red Sox to a 2-1 victory.
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