After inducing a double play to finish a scoreless first inning, Luis Severino bounced off the mound along with his typical swagger. A gold-colored chain swinging from his neck, Severino smacked his glove along with his proper hand. The Yankees’ greatest beginning pitcher was again.
In a 2019 season debut delayed by shoulder and latissimus dorsi accidents, Severino, 25, regarded very like his previous self on Tuesday. He fired 97-mile-per-hour fastballs previous batters. His secondary pitches danced towards the plate. He spun 4 scoreless innings towards the Los Angeles Angels and picked up 4 strikeouts in an Eight-Zero Yankees win as he ready for the playoffs.
“It’s been a long road back, but I’m here now and healthy, and I can help my team,” Severino mentioned.
The pleasure surrounding the return of Severino, a two-time All-Star, was severely curbed after the recreation when the Yankees introduced that Dellin Betances, their four-time All-Star reliever pitcher, had sustained what was most likely a season-ending partial tear of his left Achilles’ tendon throughout his 2019 debut on Sunday.
Until this week Betances, like Severino, had missed all of the season with shoulder and latissimus dorsi accidents. But after he struck out each batters he confronted in Toronto, he did the small celebratory hop he had finished so many instances earlier than. That is when he damage his tendon, Yankees Manager Aaron Boone mentioned.
Betances initially didn’t assume something of it. But when he felt soreness and couldn’t get on his tip toes on Tuesday, he was despatched for assessments. The Yankees mentioned that Betances — who has been considered one of the greatest aid pitchers in baseball and can change into a free agent after this season — would obtain a second opinion and be handled conservatively for now, but that surgical procedure had not been dominated out.
“Obviously frustrating and about as freak as can be,” Boone mentioned of the harm. “We’ve dealt with a lot of things obviously this year. And this is another one, and we’ll support Dellin as best we can through this.”
The announcement mirrored most of the Yankees’ season, with injuries piling atop one another and often distracting from outstanding performances. Still, the team could clinch its first American League East title in seven years as soon as Wednesday. That would be quite a feat given the ailments and struggles of the pitching staff throughout the summer.
“Just sad, man,” Severino said of Betances, his rehabilitation partner.
Zack Britton, who thought his career was over when he ruptured an Achilles’ tendon in December 2017, said he felt nauseous talking to Betances about his injury.
“The doctor told me it’s bad luck when I did mine,” said Britton, who returned to a major-league mound five months after surgery. “It was similar for Dellin, too, which is even worse. He was so excited, and he did so well that first game. For it to happen on something so innocent like that, him being excited about a strikeout, is even more frustrating.”
For most of Tuesday, Yankees fans salivated over Severino’s promising debut. He quickly knocked rust off by pitching out of a first-inning jam. His second frame was more dominant. He blew a 97 m.p.h. fastball by first baseman Jared Walsh for a strikeout and fanned second baseman Luis Rengifo with a slider.
“Really excited for him and how well he threw the ball,” Boone said.
Severino, who allowed two hits and two walks, received plenty of offensive support. Shortstop Didi Gregorius and left fielder Cameron Maybin each collected run-scoring doubles, while second baseman Gleyber Torres smashed a three-run home run, his team-leading 38th blast of the season.
Because the Yankees’ pitching strength has been in the bullpen, they might be able to withstand Betances’ absence again. They have said they will be creative with their pitching staff come October and will do whatever it takes to get 27 outs each game, regardless of role.
How much Severino has been built up by then may be a determining factor. He tossed 67 pitches on Tuesday, and a third of them were 97 miles per hour or more. He was expected to make a few more starts before the end of the regular season.
“I’ll do anything I can do to help,” he said.
When the Yankees didn’t address their stated need for pitching at the July 31 trade deadline, team officials banked on improvement from within. They have gotten it from starting pitcher James Paxton of late, and now with the return of Severino.
“We’re getting back one of the best pitchers in the league,” right fielder Aaron Judge said over the weekend. “That’s our trade deadline right there.”
But that was before Betances’ tendon became the Yankees’ latest crushing injury.