Sunday’s Yankees-Orioles game was a microcosm of the AL East season as Baltimore blasted last-place New York, 9-3 to extend its lead in baseball’s best division.
It was a rough night for most Yankees players, but in particular for starter Luis Severino, who lasted just 3 1/3 innings before being pulled. Even then, it was probably too late.
Severino opened the game with a disastrous first inning that saw the Orioles jump out to a 7-0 lead. The entire Orioles lineup batted in the inning with Adley Rutschman and Gunnar Henderson each getting two turns at the plate. Severino served up seven hits including two doubles and a three-run home run by Adam Frazier.
He walked one and allowed a stolen base that set up the seventh run of the inning.
He settled down for scoreless second and third innings. But his night was over after a wild pitch and pair of earned runs in the the fourth.
Severino’s final line: 3 1/3 innings pitched, 10 hits allowed, 9 runs allowed (all earned), 2 walks, 5 strikeouts and 1 home run allowed.
After the game, he did not go easy on himself.
“Right now I feel like the worst pitcher in the game,” Severino said, per Newsday. “No doubt about it. … Nothing that I do is working.”
It’s been a rough go for the former two-time All-Star whose seasons of late have been scuttled by injury. Sunday’s outing ballooned his ERA from 6.46 to 7.49. It was his fourth game since June 1 that he’s surrendered seven earned runs or more. He has a 2-5 record to show for it.
Severino, of course, is not the heart of the Yankees problems. An offense that went stagnant when Aaron Judge was sidelined with a toe injury in early June continued to struggle on Sunday. After he sparked the offense in the second game of his return with three hits and two RBI in an 8-3 win over the Orioles on Saturday, Judge returned to the bench for rest on Sunday. Yankees batters struck out 18 times to help Orioles pitchers to a new franchise record.
the Orioles struck out 18 batters tonight, the most in a 9-inning game in franchise history
— Sarah Langs (@SlangsOnSports) July 31, 2023
Despite their struggles and their last-place standing, the Yankees have plenty to play for. At 55-50, they’re easily the best last-place team in baseball. They’re nine games behind the 64-41 Orioles, but only 3.5 games behind in the wild-card race.
If they’re going to make the postseason, their bats need to wake up. A turnaround from Severino would also help.