Prior to today's game, the Yankees honored former catcher Jorge Posada by retiring his number 20 and giving him a plaque in Monument Park. More importantly, they gave their old friend an excellent game to watch, as 21-year-old Luis Severino held the Indians to one run on three hits over six innings, striking out six batters along the way, leading the Yankees to a 6-2 victory.
in the first inning, Severino got off to a bit of a slow start when the only person on the field the same age him, shortstop Francisco Lindor, took him deep to right field. It was a clear Yankee Stadium special that would have been a 330 foot flyout almost anywhere else, but any pleasantly surprised Indians fans soon found out that they all count the same. Jacoby Ellsbury led off the home half of the first with a single up the middle and Brett Gardner smoked Danny Salazar 's pitch over the wall in right field for another short home run. After a Carlos Beltran groundout, Brian McCann got in on the fun as well with a blast to right-center field that also would probably have been an out elsewhere. (Posada probably enjoyed the catcher power, too.) That made it 3-1, Yankees, and after scoring two more times in the second on a couple singles and sloppy Cleveland defense, Severino took over from there.
Severino struck out two batters in the second but ran into a bit of a jam in the third. With one out, he walked Jason Kipnis and Lindor singled to send him to third base. Michael Brantley then hit a ground ball to Greg Bird at first base, who threw to Didi Gregorius at second in an attempt to turn a double play. Gregorius had to reach and come off the bag to get the ball from Bird. The umpire called him out due to the "neighborhood play," even though Lindor was not particularly close to second base yet, and Indians manager Terry Francona got ejected arguing the call. Cleveland messed up anyway though--Kipnis could have easily scored when Bird threw to second, but he stayed put for some reason. Severino escaped unscathed by striking out Carlos Santana to end the inning. He was just a little bit excited:
After a smooth fourth and and fifth, Severino retired the first two batters in the sixth but walked Lonnie Chisenhall and Abraham Almonte. Although his pitch count was over 100 at that point, Joe Girardi stuck with his starter, and Severino rewarded his manager's faith by inducing a fielder's choice from Roberto Perez to finish off his afternoon. The Yankees couldn't have asked for much more from their phenom, who earned his first career win.
Adam Warren followed Severino with a scoreless seventh, but Dellin Betances surprisingly gave up a run in the eighth. Lindor hit a fluky double off the third base bag and after two groundouts, Chisenhall singled to left, scoring Lindor. Betances fanned Almonte to end the inning, and the Yankees got that run right back on a Gregorious double and John Ryan Murphy sacrifice fly. Andrew Miller polished off the 6-2 victory with a scoreless ninth, ensuring that the Yankees would remain in first place today.
The Yankees go for the four-game series split tomorrow afternoon as CC Sabathia faces Trevor Bauer at 1:05pm. It will also be Andy Pettitte Day, so that will be a must-watch. Hopefully, the Yanks put on a good show for him as well.