Severino Named Starter for AL Wild Card Game, Risky Move
Luis Severino will start the AL Wild Card game against the Oakland A's tonight at Yankee Stadium. It's a one game playoff so the loser goes home forever (until next year). The fact that the loser goes home after tonight's game CANNOT be overstated.
Being that the loser goes home tonight I find Aaron Boone's decision to start Luis Severino extremely risky. Luis has not been the same pitcher since the All-Star break. He's pitched a bit better lately but still not the same guy that started the year.
He'll also be caught by Gary Sanchez and the two do not play catch together very well. Luis Severino is the hardest Yankee pitcher to catch and Gary Sanchez has a problem catching baseballs behind the plate. He either does not like it or does not know how.
The interesting part about this choice is why he is doing it. This is an obvious effort to line up pitching for the Red Sox series, which you will not be in if you don't win tonight. J.A. Happ is a Red Sox killer so if this works out, J.A. Happ would start Game 1 of the series and would pitch twice in a 5 game series.
Sounds great! Assuming it works. What would that look like? Severino gives you 5 or 6 innings of 1 run ball, turns it over to 2 or 3 relievers and the Yankees win. BEAUTIFUL. This worked out great, Aaron Boone is a hero, they will call him a gritty, gutty manager.
If he melts down early, the Yankees may have to go to a starter to stop the bleeding, they have 3 of them on tonight's roster. Those starters are Masahiro Tanaka, Lance Lynn and wait for it.......J.A. Happ. That's right the man they are banking on starting Game 1 of the Sox series could potentially be IN tonight's game which would kill the whole plan.
I'll be watching, I'll be sweating, I'll be swearing.