Suddenly, it was 2016 all over again for Luis Severino.
A lack of focus led to a terrible start Saturday as the Yankees were pummeled 10-5 by the Red Sox, stunning a Yankee Stadium crowd of 47,241. The pitching poor Yankees could not build off Friday night’s 5-4 comeback victory over Boston as they slipped 4 ¹/₂ games back of the Red Sox in the AL East.
With Masahiro Tanaka going on the disabled list earlier in the day the Yankees needed a big outing from Severino, and got a pitcher who lost his focus and could not do well against the Yankees’ chief rival.
The Yankees most reliable starter was lost on the mound, as a result the Yankees were dumbfounded. Sure, Todd Frazier’s error to load the bases in the third didn’t help, but moments after that, Severino allowed a two-run single to left to Mookie Betts and never bothered to back up home plate, staying near the mound.
Then to the next batter Andrew Benintendi, he allowed a scorching three-run home run to right field, a 98 mph fastball that Little Ben crushed, hitting the ball off the top of the wall in right and skimming into the seats.
This home run was not to be confused with the three-run bomb Benintendi hit in the fifth up into the second level of the right-field bleachers. That home run came off a Severino crush-me slider.
That third inning began harmlessly enough with two one-out walks issued by Severino to the eighth and ninth hitters in the Red Sox order. The first was a nine-pitch walk to catcher Christian Vazquez and it was all downhill from there for Severino. That walk seemed to take a lot out of him.
When the dust cleared, Severino lasted one out into the fifth inning, allowing 10 runs, eight earned, and those two home runs to Benintendi. It was ugly — 2016 ugly.
The 10 runs allowed by Severino were the most ever allowed by a Yankee pitcher at the current Yankee Stadium.
You’ll remember that in 2016 Severino was 0-8 as a starting pitcher with an 8.50 ERA in 11 starts. Even his…