Luis Severino, Yankees shut out Blue Jay to split series

When you enter this series, you would be forgiven for expecting a series of high-flying games filled with plenty of attacks, but for the third time in four days, a team found itself unable to push a race across the plate, and for another once in three days, it was the Yankees pitching staff that came in front. From first pitch to (almost) final out, the Yankees pitching staff performed a masterful pitching performance, beating Vladimir Guerrero Jr. four times out on the road to a 3-0 win over the Toronto Blue Jays.

There’s only way to describe Luis Severino’s performance tonight: absolutely dominant. His last line is impressive enough – five pointless innings with just two hits, two walks and six strikeouts – but in truth, the line does not tell the whole story. Even after losing Teoscar Hern├índez last night due to an oblique injury, the Blue Jays lineup is stacked, and yet Severino cut through them as if he was playing MLB The Show on the lowest difficulty level. During his five innings of work, he generated 15 whiffs and held opponents to just a .139 xBA. His cutter / slider (Statcast is confused as to exactly what it is) and changeup in particular was on point and accounted for 13 whiffs.

That said, it was not entirely hassle-free for the young right-handed player. Toronto threatened early, with a Bo Bichette double that put a runner in scoring position with one out for the eternally dangerous Guerrero Jr. Severino, but knocked him out. A quick inside pass escaped Sevy and plunked Lourdes Gurriel Jr., but he made Raimel Tapia reach out to third to finish the inning.

Catcher Alejandro Kirk opened the second with a swinging bundle single that had a firing angle of -62 degrees and an exit velocity of just 54.8 mph. He would reach number two when Cavan Biggio left. After Santiago Espinal flew out to midfield, Bradley Zimmer caught on a rare foul by Anthony Rizzo, who dropped a throw from second baseman DJ LeMahieu on a soft groundball. With the bases filled, one out, and the top of the order approaching, the Blue Jays were set to open the game. George Springer, however, hit a flying ball to the right field for an easy exit, but he did not put it deep enough for the slow Kirk to feel from third, and Bichette struck out to second to finish the inning.

Severino opened the top of the third by giving Guerrero his second strikeout of the game. From that point on, he allowed only one other baserunner, walking Kirk, to lead from the top of the fourth. He stopped the last six batsmen he met, three on strikeouts, and he ended his evening by doing something historic. By beating Guerrero to finish fifth, Severino simply became the first pitcher in the first baseman’s young career to knock him out three times in one game.

I think I’m speaking on behalf of everyone when I say, ‘I missed Sevy’s strikeout scream and I hope to see a lot more of it this year. “

What made Severino’s performance even more exciting was the fact that Kevin Gausman traded for the Blue Jays. He stopped the first seven batteries he encountered, even though he needed a little help from Guerrero as Rizzo laced a line drive 109.2 mph right at him. Against the first seven batters in a row, he recorded nine strikeouts and surrendered just two hits. But tonight was his Achilles heel … the bottom of the Yankee row, which went 4-to-4 against him despite the Yankees’ No. 8 and 9 spots in the row coming into the fight an overall 3-to-42 on the season.

With one out at the top of the third, Isiah Kiner-Falefa hit the ball twice – a fact that Phil Hughes drew attention to in the YES Network broadcast – when he laced a single over the head of Espinal at third base. Gausman then got him over to second place, allowing him to score as Gurriel bubbled Jose Trevino’s bloop single to give the Yankees a 1-0 lead. Despite the fact that Trevino reached number two on the foul, that was all they would get when Josh Donaldson struck out and Aaron Judge flew out to midfield to finish the inning.

The Yankees offense would again be strangled in the fourth inning, but in the fifth, IKF came back to the plate and restarted the offense. He laced a groundball off the glove of a diving Bichette for a two-out double. Trevino then hit another bloop single that found the green in the field, and Kiner-Falefa came back to score to extend the lead to 2.

Across the sixth and seventh, the Blue Jays tried to cut the lead down while the Yankees were looking for an insurance run, and while both teams threatened, no one was able to run over before the bottom of the eighth inning. The referee opened the inning with a double, then moved on to third as Rizzo struck out to first base, and finally scored on the contact game as Giancarlo Stanton struck out to Bichette short to give the Yankees a 3-0 lead.

Unfortunately, it immediately became clear at the top of the ninth that the Yankees needed every run. To say that Aroldis Chapman had absolutely nothing that worked for him tonight would be an understatement: Towards the bottom of the row, he went all three strokes he faced, throwing only four strikes in total. Aaron Boone got Michael King up to speed, and after buying as much time as possible, he moved closer to the game after a minimum of three batters.

With the bases filled, no one out, and the top of the order on the way, things looked bleak, and the script appeared to have been written for Guerrero to clear his first career sombrero with a game-winning hit in the ninth. But King came out with a rematch, knocking Springer out on three lanes and getting Bichette to hit a light liner to LeMahieu, who threw the ball to Rizzo to double Matt Chapman to end the game and keep Guerrero on the bench. Five pitches, five strikes and three outs – a truly regal excursion.

Luis Severino notes the victory and will be the first Yankee-starting pitcher to record a victory in 2022, while Kevin Gausman is marked with the loss. Thanks to clearing up Chapman’s clutter, King is earning the first save of his career as he initially continues to show he deserves more innings with high leverage this year. With the win, the Yankees improve to 4-3 this season, and even though we are not keeping up with the scoreboard yet, it gives them a share of first place in the close AL East.

The Yankees return to action tomorrow and make the first road trip of the year as they head down to the Camden Yards to face the Baltimore Orioles. Jordan Montgomery gets the ball for the Yankees, after getting the green light after being hit by a line drive during Sunday night’s game against the Red Sox; Jordan Lyles will oppose him. The first pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m. 19:05, and as always we have all the coverage you need right here.

Box Score.

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