Severino, Yankees bullpen shut down Texas in a nail-biting finish

Yankees closer Ron Marinaccio celebrates after his save against the Rangers at Yankee Stadium, June 24, 2023.
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In the ninth inning, Ron Marinaccio successfully retired Marcus Semien with two runners on base, sealing his first save in a week and the victory for the New York Yankees. Clay Holmes also played a crucial role by leaving two runners stranded in the eighth inning. The Yankees managed to defend their slender 1-0 lead and narrowly defeat the formidable Texas Rangers on Saturday.

This victory was largely attributed to Luis Severino‘s impressive performance, as he pitched six scoreless innings and Billy McKinney‘s contribution of a solo home run in the fourth inning.

The Yankees found themselves grappling with an ongoing challenge against the Rangers, as well as against other opponents, in the absence of Aaron Judge. However, their pitching department stepped up and ensured that the team required minimal offensive firepower to secure victories.

It would have been difficult to predict that the Yankees would limit the American League’s highest-ranked offense to just one run. Especially considering their starting pitcher had been struggling with an ERA close to 10 this month, and their own lineup was experiencing a lack of productivity. However, against all odds, the Yankees achieved precisely that on Saturday. The game was filled with tense moments, but ultimately, the Yankees bullpen emerged victorious, overcoming the challenges they faced.

Yankees pitching won the day

Luis Severino spearheaded the effort, supported by four relievers who successfully completed their roles, as the Yankees held the potent Rangers offense to a null. The final score of 1-0 in favor of the Yankees was witnessed by a capacity crowd of 46,018 at Yankee Stadium.

As the right-handed pitcher stepped onto the mound, he carried a considerable burden from recent performances. In his past four starts, he had already conceded a minimum of four earned runs each time, resulting in a staggering 9.16 ERA for the month of June.

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Severino effectively dealt with five hits before handing the responsibility over to the bullpen. However, the pivotal moment arose in the eighth inning, when Wandy Peralta found himself in a challenging situation after allowing consecutive singles to Marcus Semien and Corey Seager, setting the stage for a crucial juncture in the game.

Severino made a strong comeback following a series of subpar starts. In the seventh inning, he entrusted the Yankees’ bullpen with a slim one-run lead, and although there were some tense moments, the Yankees bullpen successfully preserved the lead and secured the victory with a touch of excitement.

Tommy Kahnle delivered an outstanding performance during the seventh inning.

In the eighth inning, Wandy Peralta found himself in a precarious situation with two runners on base. However, Clay Holmes came to the rescue, entering the game and skillfully maneuvering through the danger by forcing Adolis Garcia into a ground out and striking out Josh Jung.

Before that pivotal moment, Peralta asserted his dominance by striking out Nathaniel Lowe. Following Peralta’s impressive performance, Clay Holmes entered the game and skillfully forced Adolis Garcia into a foul pop-up before striking out Josh Jung, effectively quelling the opposing team’s rally.

Ron Marinaccio secured only the second save of his career in the ninth inning. However, despite being the most rested pitcher available for the Yankees, he faced some challenges as he gave up a leadoff single to Jonah Heim and issued a walk to Mitch Garver.

Nevertheless, the right-handed pitcher showcased resilience by making a strong recovery. He responded by striking out Ezequiel Duran and Leody Taveras, successfully regaining control. In the end, Marcus Semien popped up, securing a crucial out for the team.

Boone expressed admiration for Marinaccio’s fearlessness, noting that regardless of the situation, he consistently exhibits courage on the mound. He recognized that Marinaccio’s performance resulted in his second save of the season and his career.

Taking the mound for the third time in just four games, Kahnle and Peralta were shouldering a heavy workload, while Holmes pitched in consecutive days. Recognizing the slim margin for error, the Yankees understood the utmost importance of securing every out and capitalizing on every opportunity to make crucial plays.

A close win for the Yankees

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The Yankees managed to score their sole run in the fourth inning, courtesy of McKinney’s powerful fourth home run of the season. Notably, McKinney has successfully reached base in all 15 games he has participated in this season, which is a remarkable achievement amidst a multitude of disappointing offensive performances.

The Yankees found themselves in a position where they only needed that single run, thanks to Severino’s exceptional performance. Severino, who had struggled with a 9.16 ERA in his previous four starts, managed to turn things around and deliver his most impressive start of the year.

The right-handed pitcher for the Yankees proved to be exactly what the team required, delivering an outstanding performance over six innings without conceding any runs. Throughout this impressive stretch, he permitted only five hits and two walks.

With a stylish and nostalgic haircut, he showcased a throwback look reminiscent of a past season when he garnered recognition by finishing third in the AL Cy Young voting.

He expressed his desire to evoke his 2017 form, indicating that his choice to don a fresh haircut was a part of that effort, accompanied by a smile on his face.

Although Severino didn’t consistently hit the mark with his pitches, he managed to repeatedly evade trouble, often with the assistance of Bauers, particularly in the first inning.

In a situation where there were runners on first and second base with two outs, Jung hit a solid single to right field, prompting the Rangers to challenge Bauers’ throwing arm.

Bauers executed a precise throw home, directly to Kyle Higashioka, resulting in the tag out of Nathaniel Lowe for the conclusive out of the inning. Bauers admitted that he was secretly hoping for Lowe, who was not known for his speed, to attempt to run.

Bauers expressed the common tendency to have the desire to gauge the throwing ability of a fielder, indicating that there is always a natural inclination to test the arm strength to some extent.

The Rangers’ lone hit in three attempts with runners in scoring position against Severino constituted their only success in such situations.

The pitching performance by the Yankees wasn’t flawless, yet it consistently rose to the occasion, which was a necessity in the absence of Judge.

Severino acknowledged the reality of the Judge-less Yankees, emphasizing the need for the team to make the most of their available resources and strive to secure victories, stating, “We have to go out there with what we got and try to win games.”

Boone has observed progress from the right-handed pitcher, albeit in subtle ways.

Boone noted that after experiencing a slight decline in the effectiveness of his fastball over a start and a half, Severino seemed to regain its potency during the Mets game on June 13. This positive development continued into the game against Boston on June 18. However, Boone mentioned that there remains some inconsistency with Severino’s secondary pitches.

Boone expressed his hopes for Severino’s fastball, which averaged 97.2 mph, to maintain its liveliness and power, while also aiming for the slider to reach its full potential as a formidable weapon.

When questioned about whether he has observed any signs of frustration from Severino, who often voices his desire to improve, Boone responded with a negative. He stated that he has not noticed any frustration from Severino.

Boone conveyed that in their regular interactions, Severino appears to be the same as before. While acknowledging that there might be occasional moments of difference during a game, Boone emphasized that, for the most part, Severino remains true to himself.

The team led by Aaron Boone aims to secure a series victory with the help of Gerrit Cole as their starting pitcher on Sunday.

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