The Yankees lost to the Boston Red Sox on Wednesday night, 2-1, in Luis Severino’s major league debut. David Ortiz’s homer in the fourth inning to deep right center past the Modell’s sign in the second deck ended up being the game-winner.
Severino pitched very well in his first start with the Yankees after the top prospect had a 1.91 ERA in 11 starts with Triple-A Scranton. He threw five innings, allowed one earned run (two overall), recorded seven strikeouts and only allowed two hits.
A crucial play in the game ended up being Chase Headley’s throwing error on a Mike Napoli grounder when Headley had plenty of time to throw to first. Headley’s 18th error of the season allowed Alejandro De Aza to bat in the second and he hit a double to deep right center to score Napoli.
Severino was impressive pitching against the Red Sox and at Yankee Stadium for the first time. His fastball was consistently about 96mph, he mixed in his change up and he used his slider to get his strikeouts. He was not flustered after Ortiz’s long homer on a fastball that wasn’t low enough or after De Aza’s RBI double because he struck out the next batter after both of those at-bats.
Ortiz, the Red Sox longtime DH, was impressed with Severino’s ability. “That young kid, he’s got good stuff, man. I think he’s going to be pretty good,” Ortiz said. “I think at the end of the game he was missing location a little bit, but other than that, his stuff is very explosive.”
Joe Girardi also came away encouraged after Severino’s performance. “I thought he did a pretty good job,” Girardi said. “He has good poise. He made some big pitches in 3-2 counts. It’s a positive for him and what he can do going forward. I thought he located well with his fastball and can make some quality pitches.
Severino became the first pitcher in American League history to give up no more than two hits with seven strikeouts and no walks in his major league debut.
The Yankees struggled to hit off of Red Sox knuckleballer Steven Wright. He had a 4.53 ERA coming into the game, but he has an outstanding 2.08 ERA in his 13 innings pitched against the Yankees this season. Wright pitched eight innings and had nine strikeouts while only allowing four hits and one run.
The only run that the Yankees scored off of the 30-year-old was a homer to right in the seventh inning by Carlos Beltran. Didi Gregorius broke up Wright’s no-hitter with a single in the fifth inning.
Chase Headley had his 12-game hitting streak end. He hit .408 in 49 at-bats during that span with 14 runs scored, four doubles and 12 RBIs. He has been playing more like the player that the Yankees thought they were trading for. The Yankees hitting stats on Wednesday don’t mean that much because they so infrequently face a knuckleball pitcher.
As a result of the Blue Jays and Orioles both winning on Wednesday, the Yankees now have a 4.5 game lead over Toronto and a 5.5 game lead over Baltimore for first place in the AL East. CC Sabathia (4-8, 5.54 ERA) will get the start for the Yankees in the series finale on Thursday and Eduardo Rodriguez (6-3, 4.34 ERA) will get the start for the Red Sox.