The biggest moment of Luis Severino’s baseball career is at hand.
He will will get the opportunity to pitch the Yankees into the World Series when he starts Game 6 of the ALCS against Justin Verlander on Friday night in Houston.
“That’s amazing,’’ he said Wednesday after the Yankees beat the Astros, 5-0, to take a 3-2 series lead. “I want to do the best I can to get us to the World Series.’’
If the Astros prevail, CC Sabathia would pitch Game for the Yankees.
Severino even promised to try and control his emotions, the ones that got the best of him in against the Twins in the wild-card game that nearly derailed the Yankees before their October run. “That was the past,’’ Severino said of that outing where he gave up two home runs and left to boos from the Yankee Stadium crowd after getting only one out.
Severino was overly amped up that night. The stage is even bigger this time. Can he stay calm?
“I will try. I will try my best,’’ he said smiling. “It won’t be easy, but I will try my best.’’
It will be Severino’s second time against Verlander, who beat the Yankees, 2-1, in Game 2.
“He’s pitching against the hitters, that’s not my problem,’’ Severino said. “I just want to go over there and have fun and face Houston hitters. [Dallas] Keuchel did great last time [in Game 1], look what happened,’’ referring to Wednesday night when the Yankees finally beat the Astros’ ace.
Severino pitched four innings in Game 2 before Joe Girardi removed him after noticing Severino was windmilling his arm on the mound. Severino had allowed one run on two hits.
“I said I was OK, I was feeling nothing,’’ Severino said, “so they made sure I was fine. I was fine. [Pitching coach ] Larry [Rothschild] said the same thing, that he saw something, but I’m good.’’
Severino has pitched a career high 204 2/3 innings. Girardi is keeping close tabs on him.
“Well, I think that going into Game 6 obviously, you know, it’s going to be an important game, one way or another,’’ Girardi said. “ So I feel good about where he’s at. My concern was coming off, I think it was 113 pitches (against the Indians in the ALDS), the amount of innings, I was concerned when people said he looks a little different. But those concerns have kind of been put to rest for me. I believe he’s doing his bullpen today and everything was good. So I feel pretty good about what he’s done.’’
Severino said there is no need to worry about him.
“I feel good,” he said. “I feel 100 percent good.’’