Yankees Luis Severino: Another superb effort goes by the wayside

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

When the Yankees were putting their starting staff together for the 2017 season back in March, there were surely questions surrounding everyone but Tanaka. Oddly, it turned out to be the other way around.

Yankees starter Luis Severino turned in yet another superb effort in a starting role today, only to lose a closely fought game to the Toronto Blue Jays by a score of 3-2 on a Josh Donaldson home run in the eighth inning off Tyler Clippard.

Those things happen in baseball, and as a result, the Yankees limp out of Toronto flying home for a well deserved day off before meeting the Boston Red Sox, at home, in the third successive showdown series with arch-rivals and competitors in the American League East.

The Yankees bats were relatively quiet again today against probably the best starter the Blue Jays have in Marcus Stroman, who went six strong innings, surrendering only two runs.

But the underlying story of this game can be broken down into two stories. The first of which is that the Yankees, of late, are turning into an all or nothing team offensively.

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They find a way to hit four home runs in one inning yesterday against a hapless Jason Grilli, only to follow up with six hits today, all of which were singles except for a two-run double off the bat of “Ole Reliable” Matt Holliday. And to accent their flat performance offensively, they were only 1-7 with runners in scoring position.

What do you do to combat this broad gap from day to day? Nothing. It’s baseball, and you keep putting the same lineup out there, hoping only that more consistency develops.

The picture turns brighter though

The second underlying story is even more intriguing. And that’s the performance turned in by a fully maturing Luis Severino. During the offseason, Severino was often lumped in there with Michael Pineda with an aura that suggested, “What the hell is wrong with these guys?”

Both have taken great strides forward in 2017, but it is Severino who commands the most attention at this stage of his career. His line today in case you missed it: seven innings, one walk, seven strikeouts, two earned runs, and 65 of 98 pitches thrown for strikes.

Both Pineda and Severino have long been described as having “electric” stuff. But pitching is more than that. In fact, it’s the ultimate con game and a situation of mind over matter in which confidence determines everything.

Again, similar to each other both Pineda and Severino are starting to look like they are emerging from the abyss that many pitchers, some will all the talent in the world, never escape from.

And while it might be too soon, it still would be a good idea for the Yankees to start looking at Severino in particular as a number two or even a number one in the rotation down the road.

There should be no shame on the part of Severino in delivering the kind of game the Yankees should have won but didn’t. Hello, Boston!