The New York Yankees suffered the biggest playoff loss in their illustrious postseason history on Monday when the Boston Red Sox beat them 16-1 in Game 3 of the American League Division Series. It was a brutal loss for the Yankees and a strong offensive show for the Red Sox, but the Red Sox may have had a little help from Yankees starting pitcher Luis Severino.
Jon Heyman of Fancred Sports reported that the Yankees are positive that Severino was tipping his pitches during that 16-1 blowout loss. One Yankees source simply told Heyman, “The Red Sox had his pitches.”
The Red Sox weren’t the only ones who noticed that Severino was tipping his pitches. Lou Merloni, a Red Sox broadcaster, also mentioned it. And an intrepid Twitter follower captured actual evidence from the game itself.
.@LouMerloni just nailed it. Red Sox had a beat on what was coming as early as the second inning. JBJ says "Fastball…" to Mookie before an 0-2 pitch to Holt, Severino pumps in 98 MPH fastball that Holt fouls away. pic.twitter.com/wLGR5dVDys
— Dan O'Mara (@Dan_OMara) October 9, 2018
Jackie Bradley Jr. said “fastball” into his closed fist, and that’s just what Severino delivered. Heyman said on the radio on Thursday that the Yankees are “absolutely convinced” Severino was tipping his pitches, and it’s not hard to see why.
Severino had been electric in the AL wild-card game, giving up just two hits and striking out seven over four innings, helping the Yankees beat the Oakland Athletics to advance to the ALDS. And when Severino struggled in Game 3, it was initially thought to be due to a shorter warm-up time before the game. Broadcaster Ron Darling commented during the game that Severino had gone out to the mound to warm up at 7:32pm, just eight minutes before the game’s scheduled start time of 7:40pm.
Both Severino and Yankees manager Aaron Boone commented to ESPN after the game that they felt the warm-up time was not an issue, and that he was fully ready to go at game time. It looks like they were right, since the Yankees now reportedly believe that Severino was tipping his pitches. That’s information that will help Severino in the future, but it probably doesn’t make the Game 3 shellacking — and the Yankees’ subsequent elimination in Game 4 — any easier for the team to deal with.
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