The game took less than three hours, the starter was dominant, and the Tigers didn’t score a single run. No, I’m not talking about last night’s win, I’m talking about today’s 3-0 Yankees victory, where Luis Severino matched this incredible run of seven inning starts that the rotation’s been on, and the lineup did just enough to win yet another series.
I feel like we can start cutting and pasting a lot of pitching recaps. Another day, another six or more shutout innings from the starter, a bunch of whiffs, and if by chance the opponent does manage a run, it’s probably on some nonsense or a single mistake. We are really running out of superlatives for this rotation, and I can’t think of a time where I’ve been a fan of this team and excellent starts are the expectation from everyone in the starting five.
Today it was Luis Severino’s turn. He gave up a hit in the second inning, and nothing else after that. He did that thing that everyone else in the rotation has done this year — he was just as effective late in the game as he was early, striking out the side in the sixth inning:
Luis Severino, K'ing the Side with Filth. pic.twitter.com/3HCWQDyZzO— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) June 4, 2022
As we say:
It's not an official metric but the Yankees 1-5 starters are #1-5 in baseball in "number of times I snort at the TV because of how silly they make hitters look"— Pinstripe Alley (@pinstripealley) June 4, 2022
Severino generated 20 whiffs, and 11 called strikes. Just two batted balls with a xBA over .500. Yeah, the Tigers aren’t that good a team, but every win counts, and Detroit just had no answer for Severino. Even the hit he gave up was a liner that Isiah Kiner-Falefa nearly caught, and in fact, I expected him too. This rotation is on one right now, and Sevy was just the next in line to have a terrific outing.
Offensively, I think we can also cut and paste a lot of recaps. Aaron Judge hit a home run on the first pitch a Yankee batter saw, his 21st of the year and (for now) putting him on pace for 62 over the full season. Anthony Rizzo also went deep, I think officially putting an end to his May funk as he’s now hit two home runs in June and was all the offense in that win over the Angels this week.
As for the rest of the lineup, well ...
I thought Beau Brieske’s fastball looked ok, and the Yankees didn’t seem prepared for his slider, taking eight for strikes. Overall, though, it was a repeat of what we’ve seen a lot of this year, the top guys in the lineup carry the offense, the bottom half can’t manage much of anything, and Aaron Judge is on pace for 62 dingers but only 128 RBI because people aren’t on base ahead of him.
The Yankees did load the bases in the bottom of the eighth, up two, and Josh Donaldson did manage a sac fly for a little insurance, but it’s still a bit of a letdown after the 13-run explosion last night.
If there’s one risk to this team, it’s that if the staff suffers an injury or just has a bad week or two, which can happen, the lineup isn’t long enough to cover for them the way that you’d like to see. Now, I don’t think there’s a real case for regression in the rotation, so maybe they’ll just keep pitching like this — they strike a bunch of guys out, they don’t walk many, and they go deep into games now, lessening the volatility risk of too many relievers in the same game.
The Yankees are now 13-2-2 in series this season, which is pretty much the blueprint to how you go 38-15 to open a season. They can sweep the Tigers tomorrow on the first Peacock game of the season, an 11:35 a.m. start time that will only be accessible through the streaming service.