Luis Severino felt the pressure. The Yankees right-hander watched Thursday night as Jameson Taillon took a perfect game into the eighth. The next night, Gerrit Cole was dealing a perfect game into the seventh.
“I mean, I’m afraid of getting traded if I don’t get to six or seven. Not good enough,” Severino joked. “I need to go out there and try to give my best every time they give me the ball.”
His best on Saturday was pretty darn good. He threw seven scoreless, one-hit innings in the Yankees’ 3-0 win over the Tigers at Yankee Stadium. Severino struck out 10 for his first double-digit punchout game of the season.
The one hit was a smoked ground ball by Miguel Cabrera that came at the face of shortstop Isiah Kiner-Falefa in the second inning. It was Severino’s 16th career scoreless start and his third this season. He is the fifth straight Yankee starter to have tossed at least seven innings and allowed one earned run or less this turn through the rotation. In the last 14 starts, Yankee starters have posted a 1.48 ERA, allowing one or fewer runs in 11 of those 14 starts.
“Man. It’s been great. Every time guys go out there and do their business it’s like watching a replay of the night before,” Severino said of their consistency. “Guys go out there and throw six, seven, eight innings with 10 (strikeouts). It’s like that rewind of the day before.”
ODD MAN OUT
Miguel Andujar was optioned to Triple-A on Friday night. He did not go quietly. After slashing .258/.273/.323 with a .595 OPS in nine games since being recalled on May 24, Andujar told Aaron Boone that he wanted to be traded, a source confirmed.
“I’m not going to get into our conversation about it,” the Yankees manager said. Boone added that while it was a difficult conversation, Andujar was professional. “Miggy’s a great guy, and he handled it like a pro. Understanding that’s it’s a difficult option. Understanding that he’s a big part of what we’ve done here and he certainly wants to be here, so I understand that’s tough.”
While the frustration for the former Rookie of the Year runner-up is understandable, the Yankees are under no obligation to grant his wish.
Andujar was a huge part of the Yankees 2018 team, when he finished second in voting for the American League ROY behind Shohei Ohtani. He came into 2019 as the Yankees starting third baseman. He injured his shoulder early in that season, an injury that required season-ending surgery, and lost his job to Gio Urshela. In 2020, Andujar struggled with limited playing time and last season he spent the majority of the year in the minors.
But Andujar has adjusted well to playing in the outfield and certainly made a case for himself while he has been with the big league club. With two regular outfielders – Aaron Hicks and Joey Gallo – struggling, the 27-year old Andujar has been better at the plate than them and solid in the outfield.
In a total of 12 games, Andujar is hitting .268/.279/.317 with two doubles, three RBI and three stolen bases. His OPS is .596. Gallo, in 43 games, is hitting .177/.282/.308 with a .590 OPS. He has two doubles, five home runs and seven RBI. Hicks is slashing .217/.346/.248 with a .594 OPS, a double, a home run and eight RBI.
“Last night was really difficult. He’d been playing regularly for us. He’s been a part of us winning ball games,” Boone said. “There’s been other times when, as I’ve talked about in the last few years, it’s been needed that he’s gone down there and worked through some things or getting built up and things like that. So right now I know he’s contributing and he knows that we know that. It’s just a tough numbers game obviously. So last night was difficult.”
DOTS ALL FOLKS
GIancarlo Stanton returned to the lineup Saturday after 10 days on the injured list with an ankle issue. He went 1-for-4 with a double. … Clay Holmes extended his scoreless innings streak to 26.0 innings with a clean ninth Saturday. It’s the longest scoreless streak active in the majors and the longest by a Yankee since David Robertson’s 26.1 from Sept. 1, 2011, to May 8, 2012. It’s the longest by a Yankee in a single season since Mariano Rivera went 30.2 innings without giving up a run in 1999.