Flaherty On WFAN: I've Never Seen A Pitcher Begin Warming Up 8 Minutes Before Game

Report Says Severino Might Not Have Realized Start Time

Boomer and Gio
October 09, 2018 - 9:26 am

By WFAN.com

The Yankees are denying that Luis Severino was confused about the start time for Monday's ALDS Game 3, which left him with little time to warm up. But former Yankees catcher and current YES analyst John Flaherty isn't buying the team's story.

Ron Darling, working for TBS, reported Monday night that Severino didn't get to the bullpen for his warm-ups until 7:32 p.m.  Darling said he read Yankees pitching coach Larry Rothschild's lips as he said "7:40" -- the game's start time -- to his starting pitcher.

"Almost like maybe Severino didn't know it was a 7:40 start," Darling said on the air.

The Yankees lost the game 16-1. Severino was pulled with no outs in the fourth inning after he allowed six runs on seven hits and two walks.

LISTEN: Boomer & Gio React To Yankees' Embarrassing Game 3 Loss

Talking to WFAN's "Boomer and Gio" on Tuesday, Flaherty, a big-league catcher for 14 seasons, said Darling's assessment made sense to him. Here's what he said:

Just speaking from experience, I've never warmed up a starting pitcher who put his foot on the pitching rubber in the bullpen eight minutes before the first pitch was supposed to be thrown in a major league game. These guys go through routines that usually take 25, 30 minutes, where they're running in the outfield and then they go through a long-toss routine and then they get on the mound and they kind of work their way into it and then get to the dugout, have plenty of time to relax and figure it out and go out there and you're ready to go.

So I definitely think there's something to it. I didn't expect anybody to say that he was late warming up. Of course, they're not going to say that. But if you look at the first inning -- and I know people have brought up, 'Oh well, he got into trouble later on in the game' -- first inning, he was all over the place. Mookie Betts hits a rocket, (Xander) Bogaerts hits a rocket. Yeah, he didn't give up any runs, but there were a lot of hard-hit balls. His location was all over the place. So I definitely think there was something to being late with his pregame routine. These games start at different times. Eight o'clock, 8:15, 7:40 -- it's kind of all over the place.

To get on a bullpen mound eight minutes before the scheduled first pitch, I never seen it. I've had pitchers that I've worked with in the past texting me saying there's no way he should be warming up that late. In my opinion, I think there's something to it.

The Yankees insisted after the game Monday night, there was nothing unusual about Severino's preparation. 

"He had plenty of warm-up," manager Aaron Boone said. "He had what he intended to go down there and get done. And (pitching coach) Larry (Rothschild) said he was able to get through his normal routine, where he faces a couple hitters and everything. So it wasn't an issue."

Added Rothschild: "I think that’s a little bit blown out of proportion. In the playoffs, the routine is always (different) because of introductions and everything. He does a lot inside, and he comes out a little bit later than most starters but he did the routine that he normally does and he actually warmed up pretty well."

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Severino seemed annoyed about Darling's insinuation.

"How does he know what time I normally go out?" Severino said to reporters. "I go (to the bullpen) 20 minutes before the game, I play catch and then I always get on the mound 10 minutes before the game."

To listen to the full "John Flaherty Report" on "Boomer and Gio," in which the ex-Yankee also looks ahead to Tuesday night's Game 4, click on the audio player above.