It’s been nice to have Luis Severino back and starting games since he returned to the rotation at the outset of 2022. He’s electric when he’s on, and even though he’s probably not going to reach the high-hundreds in innings thrown after all the injuries, he’s worth giving the ball to every five days.
However in his last couple starts, Severino has very much looked like a guy who hasn’t pitched much in three years. He had allowed 10 earned runs in 15.2 innings over his last 3 starts, even though one of them included 5.1 no-hit innings. By the numbers, he’s been the worst Yankees’ starting pitcher.
On Monday night, he showed signs of bouncing back. Against the Orioles, Severino went six innings, allowing one run on one hit, while striking out seven. He mostly cruised through the Baltimore lineup, setting the Yankees up for another win. The lineup did its job as well, as the Yankees won 6-2, picking up their seventh victory in their last eight games.
The teams traded missed chances (the Orioles’ one coming via a crazy play) in the first, and quick innings in the second before the Yankees opened the scoring in the third. With two outs and Anthony Rizzo on first, Giancarlo Stanton lined one out to right field. It fell in, allowing Rizzo to race all the way around and score.
Stanton was thrown out after wandering too far past second, assuming the throw would go home. Also of note on the play is that it almost certainly would’ve been a two-run home run had the Camden Yards fences been at where they had been prior to this year.
An inning later, the Yankees added to their lead. With Gleyber Torres and Isiah Kiner-Falefa both on after singles, Jose Trevino went opposite field and clanged one off the foul pole for a three-run home run, the first for a Yankee catcher all season. It was a weird one, with the pitch being both pretty high and having a xBA of just .110, but it counted all the same.
The Orioles got on the board in the bottom of the fourth when Anthony Santander led off the inning with a long ball. It was one of the few blemishes on Sevy’s otherwise-sterling outing.
After striking out Ramón Urías to end a 1-2-3 sixth inning, Severino’s day would be over as Jonathan Loáisiga came out to start the seventh. He allowed a single to start the inning, but induced a double play and got a strikeout to get through it clean. In a day where Severino looked better, it was also a step in the right direction for Loáisiga as well.
Chad Green threw a scoreless eighth inning before the Yankees tacked on some insurance in the ninth. Josh Donaldson and Anthony Rizzo went back-to-back, homering to give the Yankees some more breathing room.
Aroldis Chapman came on for the ninth, looking to bounce back after taking the loss on Saturday against the White Sox. He did eventually finish off the game, but allowed a consolation second home run to Santander.
The Yankees already have a lot going for them; you don’t get the league’s best record by accident. However, Severino had been one of the slightly worrying things about the season so far. While it was just the Orioles, he showed some very positive signs on Monday night. They’ll go for another win tomorrow night with Jameson Taillon facing Spenser Watkins at 7:05pm ET.