Good players allow you to compete. Great players allow you to win. Hall of Famers, however, carry you on their back and win games on their own. And last night, the Yankees saw that firsthand, losing the third game of this four-game set thanks entirely to Vladimir Guerrero Jr.’s three-home run night. On top of that, all three long balls came off two of the best pitchers in baseball, Gerrit Cole and Jonathan Loáisiga. It was a master class of hitting.
Today, Luis Severino will be tasked with shutting down arguably the best hitter in baseball, as the right-hander will be making his second start of the season. Sevy looked good against a tough Red Sox lineup in his first outing back on April 9th, allowing just two runs on five hits while striking out five and walking none. More significantly, his stuff looked good, with his fastball sitting in the upper-90s and his cutter and changeup generating whiffs and looking like potent weapons going forward. After throwing just 65 pitches due to the short spring and his injury history, Severino probably shouldn’t be expected to go deep in this one, but at this point, just seeing quality, healthy innings from him is enough.
Opposing him will be Toronto’s big winter acquisition for the rotation, Kevin Gausman, who is also making his second start of the year. His first outing, an April 9th win over the Texas Rangers, was good but not spectacular, allowing three runs on eight hits over five innings, although he didn’t walk a batter and averaged a strikeout an inning. Although Gausman did not face the Yankees last year as a member of the San Francisco Giants, they have seen him quite a bit from his Baltimore Orioles days — in fact, his 24 appearances (18 starts) against them is the most he has seen a team in his career.
Gausman will be facing a Yankee lineup today that contains the three linebackers in the outfield, with Joey Gallo in left, Aaron Judge in center, and Giancarlo Stanton in right (Aaron Hicks is on the bench tonight). Josh Donaldson returns to the leadoff spot after batting third yesterday, while Anthony Rizzo — yesterday’s leadoff hitter — returns to the three hole. Gleyber Torres serves as tonight’s designated hitter, while Josh Trevino starts in place of Kyle Higashioka behind the plate tonight.
How to watch:
Location: Yankee Stadium — Bronx, NY
First pitch: 7:05 p.m. EST
TV broadcast: YES Network, MLB Network (out-of-market only)
Radio broadcast: WFAN 660/101.9 FM, WADO 1280, SN590
Online stream: MLB.tv