Going into the second game of the Yankees’ 2022 season, all eyes were on Luis Severino as he made his first start of the year and his first since 2019. While there was some solid stuff to take away from his outing, for the second straight day, the win came courtesy of the large men in the Yankees’ lineup.
Anthony Rizzo and Giancarlo Stanton both homered on Opening Day, and they saw fit to do so once again on Saturday. Those homers, plus a pretty good day from the pitching in general powered the Yankees to a 4-2 win and a 2-0 start to the season.
Severino looked excellent in the first inning, striking out two. He ran into trouble in the second, although some of it could’ve been avoidable had his defense made plays. Leading off the second was J.D. Martinez, who reached with a single after Isiah Kiner-Falefa couldn’t cleanly field a grounder. Alex Verdugo immediately followed that with a home run, giving the Red Sox a lead.
Right after that, Joey Gallo got a bad jump on a Trevor Story foul ball, meaning he couldn’t come up with a catch on a diving attempt. That particular defensive misstep didn’t lead to anymore runs, but it also did require Severino to pitch to Christian Vázquez, who fouled off a bunch in an eventual 12-pitch at-bat. Between the shortened spring training and the fact that Severino was making his first start in 2.5 years, he was never going to be out there for seven innings or anything, but that sequence didn’t help him.
After striking out three in a scoreless third inning, Severino came back out for the fourth. However after allowing a leadoff single, his day would be over. Other than the home run pitch, Sevy did not do much wrong. His fastball topped out at 100 and his pitches mostly looked sharp. He finished with five strikeouts in an encouraging outing.
Luis Severino, 3Ks in the 3rd.— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) April 9, 2022
All on Changeups. pic.twitter.com/RLawbS2qhN
Ron Marinaccio made his major league debut when he came in to replace Severino. He made the jam worse by walking the first batter he faced on four pitches. However after that, Marinaccio struck out two and got a nice defensive play from Gleyber Torres at second to get out of the inning.
The first time through the order, Nick Pivetta mostly held the Yankees in check. When the lineup then looped back around for the fourth, the good swings started to come. After Josh Donaldson led off the inning with a single, Aaron Judge crushed a pitch to dead center field. Unfortunately, Enrique Hernández made a leaping catch at the wall to rob Judge of a home run. The Yankees didn’t need to lick their wounds for too long, though. In the very next at-bat, Rizzo went yard, evening up the score.
Pivetta then remained in the game for the sixth inning as the heart of the order looped back around again. With Judge on first after a walk, Stanton stepped to the plate with one out. On the second pitch, he destroyed a pitch for his second home run of the young season.
The 437-foot shot gave the Yankees the lead for the first time on the day.
After Marinaccio’s inning, most of the Yankees’ notable relievers would enter the game. Miguel Castro, Lucas Luetge, Chad Green, and Clay Holmes all provided quality innings out of the bullpen, getting the Yankees to the ninth with a lead.
Aroldis Chapman came in for the final frame, and quickly recorded a strikeout. Christian Arroyo came up next and grounded one to Kiner-Falefa at short. It should’ve been the second out, but the shortstop’s throw was up the line, allowing Arroyo to advance to second on the error. However, the next two at-bats ended in outs, with Kiner-Falefa cleanly fielding and throwing the final out.
If Rizzo and Stanton continue to average a home run per game all season, you have to feel pretty good about the Yankees’ chances. They’ll go for a season-opening sweep on Sunday Night Baseball tomorrow with Jordan Montgomery squaring off with Tanner Houck at 7:08pm.