Which is especially ironic, considering this team has been cursed in nearly every other way possible this season.
That stretch of bad luck has certainly permeated Luis Severino’s recovery. 2018’s first-half ace has barely been seen since that season, which ended with a stretch-run thud and an ALDS game where he forgot what time the contest began.
After battling shoulder issues in 2019 and succumbing to Tommy John surgery before the pandemic shortened everyone’s season in 2020, Severino seemed on track to return this year … until, of course, he left a mid-June rehab start in Brooklyn with what looked like a complete groin tear.
Season over. Finally, official. …Right?
Well, in an extremely un-2021-like development, Severino actually suffered only a minor strain, and though it delayed his rehab, it didn’t pop it like a balloon. The right-hander has been back on the mound in recent weeks weaving his way towards an MLB return, and took things to the next level on Sunday in Somerset, NJ.
He powered through the Double-A Orioles for four perfect innings, featuring five whiffs, many of which came on his trademark high-80s slider.
After he left, his teammates picked up his slack as well, nearly completing a perfect game before settling for a run-of-the-mill no-hitter. Not bad for a guy whose season seemed finished before it began.
Yankees co-ace Luis Severino led a no-hitter in Somerset.
After persevering without Severino for so long, it’s fair that our expectations would be somewhat muted for the remainder of 2021.
No-hitters, though, change the equation a bit. We don’t necessarily need peak Severino for the September stretch run, and unlike Red Sox fans, we seem to understand that he’s not going to arrive and immediately insert himself as the savior for seven innings at a time.
This version of Sevy could help a ton, though, even if only for four or five innings, or in a piggyback scenario with fellow electric righty Luis Gil.
And speaking of arms who could theoretically help the Yankees down the stretch and into 2022, the no-no was closed by Ron Marinaccio, who’s been following in Stephen Ridings’ footsteps while emerging as a bullpen option.
For those keeping track, that’s the Yankees organization’s fourth no-hitter of 2021, including Corey Kluber’s at the MLB level and combined outings at High-A, Double-A, and Triple-A (led by Gil and Ridings a few weeks back).
Even with limited pitch counts. Even with supposedly limited pitching depth. The Yankees are still getting it done, and a forgotten face in Severino helped lead the latest effort. For once, pitching isn’t exactly the problem across the entire organization … but we could still use a Sevy cameo in the Bronx sooner rather than later.