Luis Severino’s rough start bites Yankees, threatens to derail Subway win

Luis Severino looks puzzled and disturned as he gave up six runs in the Yankees’ 7-6 win over the Mets at Citi Field.
Michael Bennington
Wednesday June 14, 2023

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Following a lat strain that postponed his entry into the 2023 season, Luis Severino appeared to provide a much-needed boost to the Yankees’ rotation, which had been plagued by injuries, with his strong performances in his initial two starts.

After registering two earned runs and striking out 10 batters in a span of 11.1 innings against the Reds and Padres on May 21 and 27, respectively, Luis Severino showcased promising form as he progressed in the major leagues following two minor league starts. Unfortunately, since then, his performance has become a concern rather than a positive addition.

Luis Severino’s bad start

The trend continued on Tuesday against the Mets, with Luis Severino allowing five earned runs (six in total) across 4.2 innings in a back-and-forth 7-6 victory for the Yankees. In the game where Max Scherzer also struggled, the Yankees starter surrendered seven hits, including 10 hard-hit balls, along with three walks. He managed four strikeouts but was also guilty of two balks, all while throwing 104 pitches.

Despite having the option to make a pitching change, Aaron Boone opted to keep Luis Severino on the mound with two outs in the fifth inning after a quick visit to the mound. Unfortunately for the Yankees, that decision quickly proved to be costly. Just after the visit, Luis Guillorme delivered a crucial single that not only tied the game at six but also ended Severino’s outing, leaving the Yankees and their starter to face the consequences of that choice.

Aaron Boone explained the intention behind his visit to the mound, stating that he wanted to check on Luis Severino and give him an opportunity to navigate through the situation. The primary concern was ensuring that Severino didn’t push himself too hard and make a costly mistake. Despite getting ahead in the count, Luis Severino was unable to retire Guillorme, which was disappointing for Boone as it prevented him from securing the win. However, Boone expressed hope that this experience could serve as a catalyst for Severino’s improvement moving forward.

Luis Severino’s struggles began early in the game as Brandon Nimmo led off with a home run, putting the Mets on the scoreboard. Although Severino managed to limit the damage in the first inning, thanks to an impressive running catch by Jake Bauers in right field, the Mets capitalized again in the second inning, scoring two more runs.

Luis Severino’s ERA now stands at 6.48, with 16 earned runs and seven home runs surrendered in his last three starts. His fastball has been inconsistent in terms of command and velocity, although, in Tuesday’s game, he maintained a velocity close to his season average of 96.4 miles per hour.

Luis Severino’s struggles have extended to the early stages of games, as he has surrendered a total of 12 runs in the first two innings of his last three starts. This includes a challenging six-run first inning he experienced against the Dodgers on June 2, 2023.

What led to Luis Severino’s struggle against the Mets

The Yankees starter struggled with his control, issuing three walks in the game, matching his season-high. Additionally, he committed two balks, both occurring in the second inning. This marked a significant occurrence, as Luis Severino became the first Yankee pitcher since Hideki Irabu in 1997 to have two balks in a game and the first to have two balks in a single inning since Rich Monteleone in 1992, according to James Smyth of the YES Network.

The Yankees manager emphasized that he doesn’t focus solely on the velocity number when evaluating Luis Severino’s performance. Instead, he looks at factors such as the movement and effectiveness of his pitches, the quality of swings from opposing batters, and whether Severino is hitting his spots accurately. Boone believes that if Severino can execute these aspects, his pitching will be in a favorable position.

Despite Luis Severino’s fastball showing good velocity, his slider struggled to generate swing-and-miss results against the Mets. Out of the 18 sliders he threw, none resulted in a swing and miss. Overall, Luis Severino only managed to induce seven swings and misses throughout the game, with the majority of them coming from his fastball.

Given the injuries to Nestor Cortes, Carlos Rodon, and Frankie Montas, the Yankees are heavily relying on Luis Severino to bounce back. This is not only crucial for the team’s success but also for Severino’s own personal situation. As an impending free agent, his performance will have a direct impact on his future prospects and potential contract negotiations. It is worth noting that Luis Severino’s injury history has already posed challenges in securing a significant contract in the past.

There is still ample opportunity for Luis Severino to regain his form, and it’s important to consider that he is playing catch-up due to his lat injury towards the end of spring training. However, his recent performances, including Tuesday’s outing, have been concerning and raise legitimate worries.

Although Aaron Boone expressed that he observed some improvement in Luis Severino’s performance during another challenging start, the pitcher himself had a more critical assessment of his outing.

The Yankees starter acknowledged that he did not show any signs of improvement, expressing his desire to become a better pitcher. He admitted that his recent performances have not been beneficial to the team and emphasized the need to identify and rectify the issues he is facing.

Luis Severino admitted that he did not meet expectations and acknowledged the need for improvement in his performance. He recognized that he fell short and emphasized the importance of personal growth to enhance his contributions to the team.

Boone observed that Luis Severino encountered difficulties in maintaining control of the counts during the early stages of the game.

What do you think? Leave your comment below.

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One thought on “Luis Severino’s rough start bites Yankees, threatens to derail Subway win

  1. Diminished velo could indicate physical issues.
    In any case, Boone is wrong to downplay it.
    If the velo remains down, Severino will continue to struggle.

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