|Oct. 3||LIVE||MIN @ NYY||ESPN|
Severino allowed five of the first six hitters to reach and gave up two homers — a leadoff shot to Brian Dozier and a two-run homer to Eddie Rosario — and the Yankees found themselves in a 3-0 hole four batters in.
Dozier cranked a 3-1 Severino fastball into the left-field seats to open the scoring, before Rosario followed a Jorge Polanco walk by lining a two-run shot over the short porch in right. Severino then allowed a single to Eduardo Escobar and a sharp double to Max Kepler before Yankees manager Joe Girardi replaced him with reliever Chad Green.
But neither Green nor Gregorius’ efforts could overshadow the subpar start by Severino, who turned in the shortest start of his career and the shortest postseason start not truncated due to injury since Gil Heredia in the 2000 AL Division Series.
The Twins had a plan to counter Severino’s electric stuff heading into the right-hander’s first career postseason game.
“My advice,” Twins manager Paul Molitor said pregame, “is to go up there and try to be aggressive and try to keep him in the zone, see what’s working for him, see if we can eliminate pitches.”
The Twins clearly honed in on Severino’s lauded fastball when the right-hander struggled to locate his slider early. Severino’s fastball was consistently the hardest by a starter in the Majors this season.
Dozier turned on a 99.1-mph heater, Polanco fouled off two of similar velocity before walking on an errant slider and Escobar lined a fastball the other way for a hit. Rosario turned on a hanging slider, and Kepler ripped a changeup that hung in the middle of the zone.
Severino did not elicit a swinging strike on any of his 29 pitches, a jarring statistic for a pitcher who ranked 11th in baseball in swinging-strike rate this season.
Joe Trezza is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.