Thursday, April 5, 2018

Home Runs the Story, Severino the Secret In Yankee Win

If, as Connie Mack taught us, "Pitching is 75 percent of baseball," then what Luis Severino did against the Tampa Bay Rays at Yankee Stadium yesterday afternoon was more important than any of the home runs that backed him up.

Sevy was so good, he actually convinced Aaron Boone to let him pitch 7 1/3rd innings, allowing 2 runs on 5 hits, just 1 walk, and 7 strikeouts.

And yet, having allowed a leadoff runner in the 8th inning, he then got an out... and then Boone took him out. 92 pitches -- 63 of them for strikes. If the quantity, rather than the quality, of the pitches thrown is what matters, then what was the point of firing Joe Girardi?

Spoiler alert: Brian Cashman is wrong: It is the quality of the pitches thrown that matters.

As for those home runs, which got the headlines:

The Rays took the early lead, but, making up for his 5-strikeout game the day before, Giancarlo Stanton tomahawked a pitch 458 feet to left field, tying the game. In the 3rd inning, it was Gary Sanchez's turn. In the 4th, Aaron Judge hit one out. For Stanton, it was his 3rd home run of the young season; for both Sanchez and Judge, his 1st.

Adam Warren finished the 8th inning, and Aroldis Chapman pitched a perfect 9th. Yankees 7, Rays 2. WP: Severino (2-0). No save. LP: Blake Snell (0-1). Sounds like the name of a soap opera character.

The series, shortened to 2 games due to Monday's snowy postponement, concludes with a Yankee sweep. Today, the Baltimore Orioles come to town for 4 games. Here are the prospective pitching matchups:

* Tonight, 6:35 PM (odd start time): Masahiro Tanaka vs. Andrew Cashner.

* Tomorrow, 7:05 PM: CC Sabathia vs. Kevin Gausman.

* Saturday, 1:05 PM: Sonny Gray vs. Chris Tillman.

* Sunday, 1:05 PM: Jordan Montgomery vs. Mike Wright Jr.

Come on you Pinstripes!

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