About Last Night: Yankees 3 - Rangers 1
by Cary Greene
October 4, 2022
● Winning Pitcher: Luis Severino (7-3, 3.18) 7 IP/ 0 H, 0 R, ER / 7 K, 1 BB / 94-63 PC-ST (67% Strikes)
● Losing Pitcher: Martín Pérez (12-8, 2.89) 6 IP/ 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER / 2 K, 5 BB / 77-44 PC-ST (57% Strikes)
● Yankee Home Runs: (2) (Gonzalez, 6th of season, 1-run HR, 8th-inning off Hernandez), (Stanton, 30th of season, 1 run HR, 8th-inning off Hernandez)
Last Night in Yankees History: On October 3rd, 1948, after taking his position in centerfield in the bottom of the eighth-inning at Fenway Park, Joe DiMaggio was removed from the game by Yankees manager Bucky Harris and as the superstar of their hated rivals limped off the field, the enthusiastic Red Sox crowd of 35,000 gave Joltin’ Joe an epic standing ovation. It was a gesture DiMaggio would later refer to as one of the greatest thrills of his career.
○ ALL RISE: Aaron Judge was named the AL “Player of the Month” for September after batting .417/.565/.869 (35-for-84) with 26R, 8 doubles, 10HR, 17RBI, 30BB/8IntBB and 1SB in 25 games
○ WIZARD OF OZ: INF/OF Oswaldo Cabrera has reached base in 12 of his last 13 games…has reached base multiple times in seven of those games and he’s batting .309/.397/.603 (21-for-68) with 16R, 5 doubles, 5HR, 14RBI, 10BB and 3SB over his last 19G (since 9/10).
○ The Rangers played .296 baseball for September and are now 0-3 in October. Not the way to finish what had already been a disappointing season!
Big Story - Last night Luis Severino, who was making his third start since being called up, looked pretty sharp once again and he now has a 0.75 ERA since rejoining the team. He was dealing throughout his start and touching 100.3 mph, looking very in control and ready for the postseason. The Yankees have caught a tremendous break here with Severino looking so good.
The game itself was played at a crisp pace but the Yankee offense was squandering base runners and hitting into double-plays all night, as they put the leadoff man aboard often in the early going (in the second, third, fourth and fifth innings) and finally, in the fifth, the red-hot Kyle Higashioka plated the first run of the game with a sharp single that scored Aaron Hicks for a 1-0 Yankees lead.
With Severino sitting at a very economical 68 pitches through five-innings and having struck out the side in the fifth-inning, I began holding my breath and thinking about the possibility of a no-hitter. Sevy struck out Rangers right fielder Kole Calhoun, who went down swinging on a nasty change-up to start the inning. Then Severino began dialing up to 100.3 mph and in the blink of an eye, the inning was in the books.
The Yankees once again put a runner on in the seventh-inning, but Higashioka rapped into what was unfathomably the Yankees sixth double-play of the game to end the inning. The Yankees were within danger of hitting into one more dubious double play of the MLB record for a 9-inning game as the record is seven double-plays, set by the Cubs as they victimized the hapless Pirates in 2018.
Severino then came out for the seventh-inning, still firing blazing fastballs that were registering 99.8 mph. After he struck out Nathaniel Lowe to end the inning, he had faced the major-league minimum of 21 batters. Aaron Boone decided to take Severino out in the dugout as the Yankees were getting ready to bat in the top of the eighth - Sevy was at 94 pitches. It was a sound decision and though Severino was upset, based on the pitch count, it was a no-brainer.
Marwin Gonzalez led off the top of the eighth-inning with a home run to deep right field and it gave the Yankees a valuable insurance run.
Then, after Aaron Judge struck out swinging, Giancarlo Stanton drilled an absolute missile to left-field for the second solo-shot of the inning and the Yankees led 3-0! This one ended all questions of whether or not Stanton was ready for the Playoffs. The shot went 457-feet, traveling 133.3 mph off the bat!
The Rangers Josh Jung, who entered the game with the lowest batting average of any player for either side (.195) broke up the no-hitter with a single off Yankees reliever Miguel Cairo. Then another single, this one by Johah Heim, put runners on the corners and after a ground out to first base, the Rangers scored to make it 3-1.
Player of the Game - Luis Severino was masterful last night. The expected batting average-against Sevy last night, based on the quality of his pitches, was .167 and that seemed generous. What a gem he pitched!
● Giancarlo Stanton looks to be breaking out of September funk. He was 1-2 with two walks and a monster home run last night.
● Kyle Higashioka went 2-4 with an RBI and he caught a very good game as well.
Better to Forget
● Most concerningly, Aaron Judge went 1-4, with his batting average dipping a point to .311 as he tries valiantly to win the Triple-Crown! With the Twins Luis Arraez once again getting a night off (his second this week), nursing his .315 average, Judge would need a near miracle to catch him, with only three games remaining in the season at this point.
My Take - It was great to see Severino in ace-like form last night. The way he worked, the quality of his pitches, his location, his velocity, the ability to work up in the zone, while also painting the corners and working the bottom of the zone, it all combined to give the Yankees a tremendously good feeling as the postseason awaits. Adding to that feeling is that Giancarlo Stanton has literally bashed his way out of the funk he was previously in and now, with Judge and Stanton batting 1-2 in the Yankees lineup, things are beginning to look a whole lot scarier for opposing pitchers. With four quality starters primed and ready for the playoffs, hope is running high amongst Yankees fans as we near the end of the 2022 regular season!
Aaron Boone has already come out and stated that Gerrit Cole will be his Game-One starter in the postseason. Now, with both Cortes and Severino both looking like easily better choices, it will be up to Cole to put those murmurs to rest once and for all tonight. While the talk shows and blogs are busily setting up other ideas, if Cole looks sharp in his final start of the regular season, one would have to think Boone will make good on his word and stick with Cole as his preferred option.
Next Up - Today the Rangers and the Yankees square off at Globe Life park in a double-header. The first game is set for 2:05pm (EST) as the Yankees will send Jameson Taillon (14-5, 3.83) to the mound to face a Rangers starter who is yet to be announced. In the nightcap, which starts at 8:05pm, Yankees ace Gerrit Cole (13-7, 3.51) takes the mound to oppose Jon Gray (7-7, 3.93) of the Rangers.