Sevy can't solve Dodgers as Yanks drop series opener

June 3rd, 2023

LOS ANGELES -- It took a pickoff throw from behind the plate to mercifully end the roughest inning of ’s career, putting a stop to the barrage of hard-hit contact inflicted by the Dodgers. Now, the Yankees’ task is to figure out what went wrong.

His velocity down and his location poor, Severino was pelted for seven runs -- including six in the first inning -- as the Yankees dropped Friday’s series opener, 8-4, at Dodger Stadium.

“At that point, I just wanted to try to get some outs,” Severino said. “I tried to save the bullpen.”

Making his third start since returning from a right lat strain, Severino permitted a leadoff homer to Mookie Betts, which set the tone for what would come. Los Angeles sent 11 batters to the plate in a 34-pitch first inning, which also featured a two-run Max Muncy homer.

James Outman had a run-scoring single, Miguel Rojas settled for a sacrifice fly on a long bases-loaded drive and Betts notched another RBI before Trevino allowed a stunned Severino to return to the dugout by picking Outman off at third base.

“A rough first inning there,” manager Aaron Boone said. “He settled in to give us something, which was good, but obviously it was a tough one in the first. They jumped on some pitches in the heart of the plate that they didn’t miss.”

J.D. Martinez added a third-inning homer off Severino, who permitted 13 hard-hit balls over his four innings.

“This is a good team,” Severino said. “When you make mistakes like that, they will take advantage.”

Severino’s average fastball velocity was down 2.3 mph and his cutter velocity was down 2.8 mph from his previous starts. Neither Boone nor Severino seemed to be overly concerned.

“I didn’t notice,” Severino said. “For me, the main thing is location. I would rather throw 99, but if I throw 95, I can get through a lineup.”

Said Boone: “He pitches in and out, mid-90s, upper-90s sometimes. The last couple, he’s had that really good life to his heater. Just a tick off tonight.”

Severino did not dismiss the possibility that he may have been tipping his pitches to the Dodgers, though he would prefer to focus on the hittable balls he left over the plate.

“Even if I was tipping or not, I need to get better,” Severino said. “This is the big leagues, and if I was tipping, I will look at it and see. Either way, if I was tipping, that’s my bad and I need to fix it.”

Severino’s stumble seemed to put the game out of reach early, negating the impact that three returning Yankees made in their first game off the injured list.

homered twice and also went deep off Clayton Kershaw, playing in their first big league games since April 5 and April 15, respectively.

“Every at-bat Giancarlo had was good; he was on time all night,” Boone said. “J.D. really got into a couple of balls. It’s good to see those guys come in, be on time and really impact the ball.”

Donaldson homered in the second and added a two-run homer in the ninth inning off Phil Bickford, marking the 23rd multihomer game of Donaldson’s career and his first as a Yankee. Donaldson’s most recent multihomer game before Friday was on June 11, 2021, as a member of the Twins.

“It was a mixture of a lot of minor things last year where I was off and couldn’t get going,” Donaldson said. “I’ve put a lot of time and energy into my craft. Today’s one day. I’ve got to come out and do it again tomorrow.”

The blasts from Donaldson and Stanton were all the Yankees mustered against Kershaw, who scattered four hits across seven innings. Kershaw was 0-1 in four previous starts vs. New York.

Tommy Kahnle made his season debut with a scoreless fifth inning, pitching around a double and a walk. Kahnle missed the Yanks’ first 58 games due to right biceps tendinitis.

“It’s good to have those guys back,” Severino said. “Hopefully tomorrow, we’ll get them back and get a win.”