Just as the Yankees had hoped, Luis Severino was pitching in the late innings of a huge game at Fenway Park in the heat of a playoff race.
That he came on in relief hadn’t always been in the plans, but Severino thrived in that role nonetheless to help the Yankees secure a 5-3 win over the Red Sox on Saturday.
Severino threw two hitless innings of relief, striking out four and pumping his fastball up to 98 mph in his second outing back after missing nearly two years following Tommy John surgery.
“You could tell he relished being out there in this kind of atmosphere and this kind of game with a lot on the line,” manager Aaron Boone said. “Another huge step for him in making his way back.”
Showing what kind of a weapon he can be for the Yankees down the stretch and possibly into the playoffs, Severino earned his first win since Sept. 22, 2019.
“Being there late in that game, how they gave it to me, it was really huge,” Severino said. “I was there, I was comfortable, I was throwing strikes. That was the main thing.”
Boone called on Severino to start the seventh inning, with the Red Sox leading 2-1. After striking out Bobby Dalbec on a slider, he issued a walk to Kevin Plawecki. But he came back to get Jose Iglesias to ground into a fielder’s choice and then struck out Kiké Hernandez on a changeup.
Severino returned to the mound in the bottom of the eighth, after Giancarlo Stanton’s monstrous grand slam had given the Yankees a 5-2 lead, and came through with a shutdown inning. He struck out Hunter Renfroe on a 97 mph heater before hitting Rafael Devers in the back. But he got Xander Bogaerts to fly out to just in front of the Green Monster and followed up by striking out JD Martinez with another changeup on his 37th pitch to strand Devers at first.
“It’s nasty now. It’s a great pitch,” Severino said of his changeup. “It was moving like crazy, so I said, ‘Why not use it?’ This team knows me. We play a lot and I know it’s going to be fastball/slider. So I wanted to throw that changeup because they haven’t seen it in a while.”
On Tuesday against the Rangers, Severino pitched two scoreless innings in a six-run game, with his fastball averaging 94.5 mph and topping out at 95.3.
In a higher-leverage situation Saturday, Severino’s fastball had even more life to it, averaging 95.5 mph and topping out at 97.9.
“Actually I didn’t even think coming into the game I was going to throw that hard,” Severino said. “I thought it was going to be the same. But after a couple pitches, I said, ‘OK, I feel pretty good.’ Once in a while, I would throw a pitch and look to the gun to see
Published on: Article source