Just about everything that could’ve gone wrong in this one did, as the Orioles saddled the Yankees with a 14-1 loss to finish a series split that ended in disaster after New York won the first two games. The Bombers couldn’t solve Kyle Bradish’s breaking balls — the righty allowed just five baserunners through six scoreless — and Luis Severino got blown out for the fourth (arguably fifth) time since the beginning of June.
Severino’s fastball velocity actually looked okay early — the 3-2 pitch that Gunnar Henderson slapped down the left field line for a leadoff homer was 97.4 mph painted right on the outside corner. The power in the rookie’s wrists simply enabled him to lift it over the fence, even though the exit velocity/launch angle combo portended just a .100 xBA:
But Severino struggled with his command otherwise: just 12 of his first 26 pitches were strikes, and that resulted in a walk and another hit before Severino finished the first inning. Every ball in play against the right-hander went off the bat at at least 95 mph.
In the second inning, the veteran ran into some more bad luck. After a 1-2 slider on the inside corner, which should have ended the inning, was called a ball, Isiah Kiner-Falefa misplayed a Henderson line drive into left field. The young shortstop ended up at second base, and Severino required another 12 pitches to retire Adley Rutschman.
The next inning, the fatigue and poor command finally caught up to Sevy, and the wheels came off. In the first at-bat of the inning, Anthony Santander pummeled a 2-0 fastball 111.1 mph off the bat for a single to deep right field. Next, Ryan O’Hearn doubled into the left-center gap, 100.2 mph off the bat, and Santander scored from first thanks in part to an Anthony Volpe bobble on the relay:
O’Hearn didn’t get to spend much time on second either, as Cedric Mullins doubled him home immediately (103.3 mph off the bat):
After a Colton Cowser groundout, rookie Jordan Westburg joined the party with a double of his own, the third of the inning, a hard-hit grounder down the third-base line:
With the fastball getting crushed, Sevy turned to his offspeed stuff and was able to parlay that move into a Ramón Urías strikeout. But then Henderson got an 0-2 fastball, grounding it 105.1 mph past a diving Gleyber Torres for his third hit of the game and the Orioles’ fourth run of the inning:
That ended Severino’s night, but his line wasn’t complete until after Anthony Volpe couldn’t quite corral a Rutschman liner off of Albert Abreu that made the score 6-0:
And Sevy’s other runner, as well as Rutschman, came around to score on a Ryan O’Hearn single:
Overall, Severino mustered just 2.2 innings in his shortest outing of the year, allowing seven earned runs (his third time doing so in just nine starts this season) on 10 hits along the way. His four-seamer, at 96.5 mph, was right around his season average, but it notched just three whiffs on 23 swings. If he keeps turning to it for the majority of his pitches, as he did tonight, that whiff rate is completely untenable. Severino’s ERA over his last seven starts sits at a ghastly 9.48 and his rotation spot has to be in jeopardy with Carlos Rodón and Nestor Cortes nearing returns.
For good measure, the O’s added five more runs in the fourth, three of them courtesy of another Henderson homer, his second of the game and fourth hit:
Albert Abreu looked visibly frustrated, and who could blame him? But frustration isn’t much of an excuse for a two-out, six-run outing. The reliever’s velocity was down a tick, so hopefully he’s okay physically.
The offense never had a real hope of coming back in this one, but they looked as lifeless as ever in a game where the Yankees didn’t score a run until pushing one across on an error while down 14-0 with two outs in the ninth. Bradish simply carved them up, and even before the O’s made the score silly, they were putting up terrible at-bats against the Baltimore right-hander.
Deivi García, brought up in Randy Vásquez’s stead, came on after Abreu. He was able to soak up some innings, but with a wildness that has become the standard for the former top prospect. On the night, he managed 2.2 innings, but with three walks against just one strikeout. García is the obvious candidate to be swapped out on the roster for Rodón’s activation tomorrow night.
One last bit of intrigue came in the eighth inning when a struggling Wandy Peralta drilled rookie Cowser after throwing a pitch over O’Hearn’s head, prompting the umpires to issue warnings to both teams. When Orioles skipper Brandon Hyde came out to advocate for throwing Peralta out of the game, he was tossed. Regardless of Wandy’s intent, the lefty was out of control, and his performance marked another lackluster night for the Yankees’ most-trusted bullpen arms.
After ending this series on the worst foot possible, the Yankees will look to start a new series on a better one. Rodón’s impending return tomorrow to kickstart a three-game set with the Cubs could be the catalyst for that better outcome. He’ll face off against old friend Jameson Taillon, with first pitch scheduled for 7:05 pm ET.