The Yankees rely on Luis Severino for many things, but among them is eating innings. Entering today’s start, Severino led the team with 78 innings pitched in 12 starts, well ahead of Masahiro Tanaka’s 67.2 innings in the same amount of games. Severino added to that gap by going eight innings in the first game of a doubleheader, but some shenanigans forced the Yankees to call up their closer for the final out of a game that they coasted in prior to the ninth
The offense did its part for their ace, pouring in seven runs off of Detroit starter Drew VerHagen. The right-hander had only appeared in nine games and owned a 6.30 ERA prior to this start, all out of the bullpen, so this was a mismatch to begin with. New York still managed to inflate his ERA nearly three points, powered by three long balls.
Most of the damage came in the fourth inning, when the Yankees broke a 1-1 tie. Greg Bird led off the inning with a home run to right-center, his second homer of the season after returning to the lineup on May 26th. Giancarlo Stanton made the only weak contact of the inning, grounding a ball up the middle for a base hit, and Didi Gregorius punched a single to right that put runners on the corners with no outs.
Miguel Andujar raked a single after a mound visit, a liner to center field that scored Stanton and made it 3-1 Yankees, The fresh call-up Clint Frazier cracked a single to left to score Didi. That brought Austin Romine to the plate with a runner in scoring position, and he made the Tigers pay with a three-run home run to center that broke the game open and made it 7-1.
It would be remiss of me to not mention that in the third inning Gleyber Torres launched a home run that tied the game up at 1 a piece, good for his 10th shot of the year. Torres extended his AL Rookie home run lead with the blast, putting him two ahead of teammate Tyler Austin.
Now onto Severino. Sevy actually started the game off with a little bit of trouble, allowing a one-out single to Nick Castellanos and a double by Miguel Cabrera to give the Tigers an early lead. That was as much as the Tigers would get off of Severino however, who shredded through Detroit’s lineup for ten strikeouts. Severino did allow an unearned run to score in the fifth off of a Torres error, but rebounded to record ten consecutive outs to end his day.
Severino handed a 7-2 lead over to the Jonathan Holder in the ninth, and things got frustratingly close before the game ended. Holder, who hasn’t allowed an earned run to score since his second appearance of the season way back on April 6th, was victimized by his defense. Romine dropped a pop up in fair territory to start the inning, putting a leadoff runner on. Niko Goodrum drove a fly ball out to center field that Aaron Hicks read awkwardly, allowing Goodrum to cruise into second and score one run. Holder got the next two batters out, but Jose Iglesias lifted a double to left to bring it to 7-4 and forced Aroldis Chapman out of the bullpen to record the final out.
The Yankees now have a couple hours to relax after the win, before heading back out to the field for the second half of today’s doubleheader. That will Domingo German against Mike Fiers, with first pitch scheduled for 7:10 PM.