Aaron Hicks (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Luis Severino dazzled Thursday night
in his second start of the season for the New York Yankees. He silenced the critics with arguably the best start of his young career, going seven innings and setting a new career high with eleven strikeouts. He was down in the zone with his pitches, which definitely helped him get through the Rays lineup three times.
Severino looks like he was spending some time with Michael Pineda because his slider was down right filthy. He only allowed one walk, displaying excellent command, which was Girardi’s primary concern through spring training.
Surprisingly, it was Aaron Hicks who provided the thump in the Yankee offense, with home runs from both sides of the plate. He became the first Yankee to homer from both sides of the plate in the same game since the recently retired Mark Teixeira. His first was from the left side in the first inning to give the Yanks an early 1-0 lead.
The Rays tied it up in the top of the second with an RBI single from the backup catcher Jesus Sucre. Then in the top of the fifth, defensive replacement Peter Bourjos got a hold of an elevated Severino fastball and sent it over the left field fence.
Aaron Hicks, this time from the right side, again took a breaking ball over the left field fence to give the Yankees the lead and put Severino in position to earn his first win as a starter since September 2015. Betances and Chapman came in to lock down the 8th and 9th respectively to send the Yankees over .500 for the first time this year.
The Bombers haven’t started 3-0 at home since 2006. Severino’s breakout performance offers a glimpse into the potential front of the line stuff the Yankees saw in his meteoric rise from the minors in 2015. Tanaka looks to make it a five game winning streak tonight in the series opener with the St. Louis Cardinals back at the stadium.