'Boomer And Gio': Luis Severino Comes Up Big Vs. Twins

Boomer and Gio
October 08, 2019 - 9:19 am

There were certainly times when it seemed we might never see Luis Severino pitch for the Yankees this season. But there he was Monday night in Minnesota, delivering clutch pitches, escaping jams and making a statement that he can be an effective postseason pitcher. 

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Making just his fourth appearance in 2019, Severino tossed four shutout innings as the Yankees completed their AL Division Series sweep of the Twins, 5-1.

His biggest moment came in the second inning. After Eddie Rosario doubled, Mitch Garver walked and Luis Arraez singled, the Twins had the bases loaded with no outs. But Severino forced Miguel Sano to pop out to first base and then struck out Marvin Gonzalez and Jake Cave. 

"The Houdini act that Severino had in the second inning was amazing," WFAN's Boomer Esiason said on the "Boomer and Gio" show Tuesday morning. "And he didn't look like he flinched at all, either. Like, he wasn't sweating. He didn't look like he was nervous. Just looked like a guy who hadn't pitched for a while and then just had to throw a couple sliders and a couple changeups, and the next think you know he got out of what was a bases-loaded, no-out jam. And I think that was almost kind of a sign of things to come for the Twins. They just could not make it happen when they needed to have something go right for them."

Severino also got out of the third inning with the shutout intact after allowing runners to reach first and second.

Due to rotator cuff and lat issues, the 25-year-old right-hander didn't make his season debut until Sept. 17. He entered ALDS Game 3 with just 12 innings of major league work under his belt in 2019. 

Adding to the concerns about Severino was his unimpressive postseason track record. In six career starts before Monday, he was 1-2 with a 6.26 ERA.

Yankees pitcher Luis Severino reacts during the second inning of Game 3 of the ALDS against the Twins on Oct. 7, 2019, in Minneapolis.
Jesse Johnson/USA TODAY Images

But in Game 3, Severino once again looked like an ace with Cy Young Award potential.

"That was such an important thing to see," said Gregg Giannotti, Esiason's co-host. "Not only because of his story in 2019 and not getting a lot of opportunities to pitch because of injury, but his history in the postseason. And yeah, he was a little bit all over the place with the fastball. It seemed to be up the entire night. But he wasn't jumpy. And I think that was the biggest point because if you think of him in that wild-card game against the Twins a couple years ago, last year against the Red Sox, where he got killed, it just looked like the postseason was too big for him. And last night, even though he wasn't perfect, in that situation he buckled down with bases loaded and nobody out. He didn't flinch at all."

To listen to the open from Tuesday's "Boomer and Gio" show, in which the guys talked more about the Yankees' big win, click on the audio player above.