Luis Severino’s 6-run first inning turns the tide against Yankees vs. Dodgers

Yankees starter Luis Severino is seen during a game the Dodgers on June 2, 2023, at Dodgers Stadium.

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LOS ANGELES — Luis Severino‘s early meltdown proved to be the decisive factor contributing to the Yankees’ loss to Dodgers on Friday. The Yankees starter fell victim to the relentless assault of the Dodgers as they hammered him for six runs in the very first inning even before he could secure the third out. Consequently, the Yankees succumbed to an 8-4 defeat, witnessed by a capacity crowd at the illustrious Dodger Stadium.

On Friday night, the groundwork was laid for the start of an unmatched series that will cover everything June has to offer. But by the end of the first inning, the excitement of what could happen in the first round or the expectation of a tough battle between the pitchers had worn off.

Luis Severino failed against Dodgers

Luis Severino had showcased his prowess in his initial two starts following his return from the injured list, where he had been sidelined due to a right lat strain. Demonstrating exceptional form, he had relinquished a mere three runs on a combined total of five hits.

But the Dodgers beat both of those marks in just the first inning, leaving Luis Severino open to attack. Over the course of four innings, he gave up a total of seven runs on nine hits, including three home runs.

On a night when Luis Severino’s average fastball speed dropped by 2.3 mph from the impressive 97.3 mph he had been throwing in his first two starts, the Dodgers (35-23) took advantage of the situation to attack him mercilessly.

Yankees starter Luis Severino

Mookie Betts hit Luis Severino’s second pitch of the night into the Dodgers’ dugout, giving them an early 1-0 lead. This was a show of power from Betts. Betts wasn’t happy with just making one contribution, so he came back to the plate later and capped off the amazing offensive surge with a two-out RBI single that made the score a scary 6-0.

In the meantime, Luis Severino let Max Muncy hit another home run and gave up a string of five singles. Also, a sacrifice fly came dangerously close to going over the outfield fence, showing just how hard the offense was hitting Severino.

As disconcerting as the sheer volume of contact that Luis Severino permitted, what was even more alarming was the ferocity with which the balls left the Dodgers’ bats. In the initial inning alone, their offensive assault registered exit velocities of 110.1 mph, 105.4 mph, 94 mph, 101.7 mph, 40.2 mph (a check-swing infield single by J.D. Martinez), 101.1 mph, 99.2 mph, 89.7 mph, 99.3 mph, and 98.6 mph, painting a vivid picture of the force behind each hit.

In total, an astonishing 14 out of the 19 balls put in play by the Dodgers against Luis Severino were struck with a minimum velocity of 94 mph or higher, underscoring the formidable power behind their offensive onslaught.

A momentary relief for the Yankees

Jose Trevino‘s smart move in the first inning gave Luis Severino a brief relief and stopped things from going from bad to worse. With runners on second and third base and Freddie Freeman up to bat, Trevino quickly picked off James Outman, who had gone too far off third base.

The Yankees used their relief in the bottom of the first inning, but Luis Severino came back for the second and got the last two outs without giving up any more runs. But J.D. Martinez quickly changed the game’s direction by hitting a leadoff home run in the third inning, making the Dodgers’ lead 7-1.

Stanton, Donaldson tried in vain to resurrect Yankees

Giancarlo Stanton and Josh Donaldson both hit solo home runs off of the powerful Clayton Kershaw in their long-awaited return from the injury list. But these were the only things the Yankees could do offensively against the experienced southpaw over the course of seven long innings. Before that Luis Severino’s meltdown had turned the game away from the Yankees.

Later in the ninth inning, Donaldson further embellished his remarkable return by delivering a two-run home run, marking his first game appearance since April 5. Despite this significant contribution, it proved insufficient to prevent the Yankees from enduring their second consecutive defeat.

In stark contrast to Yankees starter Luis Severino, Kershaw experienced a vastly different first inning, effortlessly retiring the Yankees in order with a mere five pitches, showcasing his exceptional command and efficiency.

The majority of the 52,534 spectators in attendance relished every moment of Luis Severino’s lackluster performance, albeit it somewhat deflated the anticipation of a riveting showdown between two of the league’s most iconic teams.

Yankees manager Aaron Boone expressed his belief that a weekend in June in LA, featuring a Dodgers-Yankees matchup, carried an appealing resonance. He mentioned this a few hours before the series opener took an unexpected turn. According to Boone, such a matchup likely provided an additional boost of motivation to the team.

However, it was the Dodgers alone who savored the taste of victory.

Kahnle is back

In his season debut, Tommy Kahnle bolted in from the bullpen to take over from Luis Severino at the start of the fifth inning. After missing the first two months of the season because of right biceps tendinitis, Kahnle came back and pitched a perfect inning. Even though he gave up a double and a walk, he was able to stop the threat by striking out Outman and stopping the possible threat.

In the sixth inning, Betts showcased his prowess once again by obliterating his second home run of the night, this time off Weber. The outfielder, formerly of the Red Sox, concluded the night with an impeccable performance, going 4-for-4 at the plate, including a walk, and contributing three RBIs to his impressive tally.

What do you think? Leave your comment below.

One thought on “Luis Severino’s 6-run first inning turns the tide against Yankees vs. Dodgers

  1. Nothing like a starter they need to perform knock them rt out of the game 5 minutes into the first inning.

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