We learned a lot about Luis Severino Monday night. After a pitching performance to forget in the AL Wild Card Game, Severino put his best foot forward in Game 4 of the ALDS. Game 4 was the 2nd elimination game for the Yankees in as many days. Win, and force a Game 5. Lose, and go home.
“Why don’t you just go home? That’s your home! Are you too good for your home?!”
Severino: 7 innings, 4 hits, 3 runs, 1 walk, and 9 strikeouts
Severino’s fastball was live, touching 100 mph a handful of times. His changeup regularly registered at or above 90 mph (which is insane). And his slider was sharp and consistent. Severino’s two blemishes came in the form of the long ball. Carlos Santana, who is giving everyone fits, tagged him for a 2-run home run in the 4th inning, and Roberto Perez hit a solo home run in the 5th inning. The other two hits were harmless singles by Jay Bruce and Michael Brantley.
On the other hand, the Yankees’ lineup did what they couldn’t do in Game 1. They got to Trevor Bauer, forcing him from the game after just 2 and 2/3 innings. Bauer was pitching on 3 days rest, and it showed. The Yankees put up 4 runs in the 2nd inning. What started with an error by the 3rd baseman, Giovany Urshela, ended with a 4-run, 2-out rally.
ALERT THE AUTHORITIES!! There was an Aaron Judge sighting during this rally. Judge recorded his 1st hit of the series, cracking a 2-run double to left field. Believe it or not, the key to Judge’s at-bat in the 2nd inning was being fed a steady diet of curveballs. I know Judge has been struck out 174,000 times on curveballs, but hear me out. Bauer, who has gone to his masterful curveball 36% of the time in this series, threw Judge 4 curveballs in a row. While the first 2 dropped in for strikes, the next 2 were in the dirt. This allowed Judge to adjust his eye level and drive a ball later in the at-bat.
While Girardi and his bullpen have been a topic of conversation throughout this series, he pushed the right buttons Monday night. Girardi brought in Dellin Betances in the 8th inning, but promptly yanked him after Betances walked the first 2 batters. Without the 103-mph services of Aroldis Chapman, Tommy Kahnle came in. Kahnle was lights out!! 2 innings, 0 hits, 5 strikeouts, on just 22 pitches. 7-3 lead protected. WOW!! Talk about slamming a door.
When 1 door closes, another opens (or something like that). The Yankees will walk through that door, in Cleveland. It all comes down to Wednesday. Game 5. All-or-nothing. The dangerous, Houston Astros await the victor in the ALCS.
Catch all the action on FS1, Wednesday night, @ 7:00 P.M. EST.
Projected Starters: Corey Kluber vs. CC Sabathia
The Yankees lineup tagged Kluber for 6 runs in Game 2. That won’t happen again. The same way Yankees’ fans knew Severino wasn’t going to get shelled in consecutive outings, Indians’ fans know their ace. As for the Yankees, I trust CC, but it’s all hands on deck.
While my heart is rooting for the Yankees 100%, my mind doesn’t love their chances in Game 5.
Prediction: Indians 4, Yankees 3 (10 innings)
I’d pay good money to be wrong on this one….
Who do you think will win Game 5?? Post your prediction in the comment section below.
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