Luis Severino fell to 9-2 in Sunday night’s 2-0 loss to the Mets. The runs came on former Yankee Todd Frazier’s two-out, two-strike home run in the fifth inning.
With the Yankees’ offense, Severino figured that home run wouldn’t be enough to beat him. But it was, and the Yankees pretty much shrugged off their first loss to the Mets since 2016.
Perhaps of more concern to Yankees manager Aaron Boone was what happened during Severino’s two at-bats against Seth Lugo.
Severino, who is 1-for-9 lifetime, struck out both times. He also swung the bat, shall we say, vigorously. On one swing-and-miss, his helmet flew off. On his final swing-and-miss, Severino stumbled into Mets catcher Devin Mesoraco.
Three of New York’s top pitchers have gotten injured hitting or running the bases this season. Jacob deGrom and Steven Matz of the Mets missed time with injuries suffered while swinging the bat. Masahiro Tanaka of the Yankees injured both hamstrings while running the bases on Friday and is on the 10-day disabled list.
So while Boone appreciates Severino’s competitive zest, he’d rather not have his ace risk his health when batting during interleague games.
“Yeah,” Boone said. “We’ve talked. I don’t need his helmet falling off there. But part of that is he’s a great athlete and a great competitor. But yes, I would like him to not fall down up there when he’s rippin’. I definitely find myself when our pitchers are hitting . . . It’s one of the things I worry about. I don’t like it.”
On the mound, Severino was OK. He walked two batters in a 30-pitch first inning. That hurt his pitch count for the rest of the night, and Boone removed him after 93 pitches. Severino gave up five hits, walked two and struck out seven.
“I thought it was a little harder for him tonight — 30 pitches in the first inning,” Boone said. “I certainly felt like he had a little more in the tank to go out there and potentially give us the sixth, but taking a long view of things, I don’t want to get caught in that every time because there are going to be those times when it’s a Houston and he’s rolling and we’re going to push him through to the ninth. Those kind of outings over the course of a long season where we will. Just kind of trying to pick my spots. I think he really wanted to go back out there. No question about it.”
Severino confirmed this.
“I was a little bit surprised,” he said. “I’m at 90-something pitches. I knew inside of me I can do one more inning. But they told me I’ve been throwing a lot of pitches in the past few games. They wanted me to rest. I told Boonie that I want one more. But they just told me that was it.”
Frazier’s home run came on a slider that Severino wanted to bury in the dirt.
“He had two strikes, so I need to make a good pitch over there,” Severino said. “It wasn’t a very bad pitch, but he can do that.”
Real hitters can. And they don’t have to swing out of their shoes to do it, either.