The New York Yankees want another crack at the Boston Red Sox, and they’re hoping Luis Severino will deliver it to them.
Sep 25, 2018; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Luis Severino (40) is congratulated in the dugout at the end of the second inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Manager Aaron Boone on Tuesday announced the right-handed 19-game winner will start for the Yankees against the Oakland A’s on Wednesday in the American League wild-card game.
“I think he’s ready for this. Hopefully he can get us off to a good start tomorrow,” Boone told the media Tuesday during workout day at Yankee Stadium.
The Athletics are starting right-hander Liam Hendriks. He made eight September starts with only one lasting more than one inning.
Right-hander Mike Fiers is expected to be the second pitcher.
It is believed New York was looking at three options — Severino, J.A. Happ and Masahiro Tanaka.
“We met Saturday night as a staff and (general manager Brian Cashman) came up to Boston,” Boone said, per NJ.com’s Randy Miller. “We talked through it. A lot of guys had input in the decision with reasons one way or the other. I just took all that information and (slept) on it. I felt like at some point Sunday for sure that I wanted to go with Sevy in this game and that’s where we’re at with it.”
There is no debating Severino’s abilities, as evidenced by his 19-8 record, 220 strikeouts and 10.3 strikeouts-per-nine-innings ratio. He made a career-high 32 starts in 2018, his second straight season as an All-Star. He is also going to pitch on seven days’ rest.
But if there is reason for concern, it would be in the team he is facing. Severino was 1-1 with a 6.23 ERA in two starts against Oakland this season. He surrendered six earned runs on 11 hits in 8 2/3 innings in the two starts combined.
Meanwhile, Oakland manager Bob Melvin elected to go with the “opener” strategy by beginning the game with Hendriks.
The 29-year-old is 0-1 with a 4.13 ERA in 25 appearances. Hendriks was designated for assignment in June and cleared waivers and later returned to compile a 1.38 ERA in September.
Fiers went 5-2 with a 3.74 ERA in 10 appearances (nine starts) since the Athletics acquired him from the Detroit Tigers in early August. Overall, he is 12-8 with a 3.56 ERA in 31 appearances (30 starts).
The winner of the one-game playoff will face Boston in the American League Division Series. The Red Sox set a franchise record with 108 wins this season.
The Yankees won 100 games themselves, while Oakland won 97.
—Field Level Media