Luis Severino looked like his old ace self with four shutout innings and a fastball that touched 98 miles per hour in his 2019 debut in the Yankees’ 8-0 win over the Angels before 41,026 on Tuesday night at the Stadium.
“That’s Sevy out there,” catcher Austin Romine said after Severino, who had been out all season with a shoulder injury and then an unrelated lat injury, allowed two hits, walked two and struck out four. He threw 67 pitches, 47 for strikes.
Since Severino didn’t go five innings, he wasn’t eligible for the win. But as long as he came out healthy, Severino was a big winner on the night, and so were the Yankees for the playoff possibilities he may provide.
With the Yankees’ postseason slated to begin in a little more than two weeks, Severino could make two or possibly three more appearances in the regular season. Come October, it’s unclear how manager Aaron Boone will deploy Severino — a 19-game winner in 2018 — or how built up the righthander will be.
The Yankees lowered their magic number for clinching the AL East to two pending Tampa Bay’s late game in Los Angeles against the Dodgers.
The Severino good feelings were tempered some by the shocking postgame announcement that Dellin Betances suffered a partially torn left Achilles tendon jumping for joy after a strikeout in his first appearance of the season on Sunday in Toronto. Severino’s season is just starting, but Betances’ is over after two batters.
“It’s sad,” Severino said.
Severino’s first batter of the season was his toughest test of the night. After throwing a 93-mph fastball for a strike on his first pitch, Severino battled Brian Goodwin to a 3-and-2 count. On the 12th pitch, Goodwin walked.
David Fletcher followed with a bloop single. Kole Calhoun grounded one back to Severino, who threw to Didi Gregorius, who was standing to the first base side of second. He tagged out Fletcher for the first out.
Albert Pujols then hit a one-hopper to Gregorius that the shortstop turned into an inning-ending, 6-4-3 double play.
Severino had found his sea legs against the depleted Angels (68-83), who were without the injured Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani.
"I feel great,” Severino said. “I felt very comfortable out there. The pitches were working great. Everything’s working great.”
Said Boone: “Sevy did well. Obviously, pitched well tonight. Another big step back for him. We’re excited for him and how well he threw the ball. What I loved was just how in control he was with his delivery. The stuff was very good, but it wasn’t like he was reaching for it, or trying to do it.”
The Yankees took a 2-0 lead in the second on an RBI single by Gio Urshela and a run-scoring double by Cameron Maybin.
With Severino headed to the showers, the Yankees put up six runs in the fourth, all with two outs, to make it 8-0. DJ LeMahieu had an RBI single, Gregorius laced a two-run double and Gleyber Torres hit his 38th homer, a three-run shot into the Angels’ bullpen.