Lance Lynn only made Yankees' Game 3 disaster even worse

Lance Lynn only made Yankees' Game 3 disaster even worse

Luis Severino got the Yankees in trouble Monday night.

Lance Lynn finished them off.

Brought in with the bases loaded and no one out in the top of the fourth and the Yankees trailing by three runs, Lynn wasted no time in torching any chance they had of mounting a comeback against the Red Sox in a 16-1 Game 3 loss that gave Boston a 2-1 lead in the ALDS — and left the Yankees one defeat from elimination.

After Severino came out for the top of the fourth, despite getting battered for much of the first three innings, the right-hander gave up two singles and a walk before Aaron Boone finally pulled him in favor of Lynn.

The choice of Lynn seemed odd as Chad Green was available and much more experienced at coming into games in the middle of an inning with runners on base.

Lynn never looked comfortable in his brief outing. Pitching to Mookie Betts, Lynn even fell to the ground when he slipped on the mound before walking Betts on four pitches to force in a run to make it 4-0.

Then, against lefty-swinging Andrew Benintendi, Lynn got to 2-2 but allowed a bases-clearing double to right to give Boston a 7-0 advantage.

Lynn finally recorded an out when J.D. Martinez grounded to third, but Xander Bogaerts followed with a run-scoring single to left to finally end Lynn’s night.

Boone admitted he knew Lynn was unaccustomed to coming into the middle of an inning, but that was outweighed by the fact Boone believed Lynn gave the Yankees their “best chance” against right-handed hitters.

“He just didn’t really have it tonight,” Boone said. “But stuff-wise, the reason he’s down there and in that spot is for that part of the lineup. He just came in struggling right away with his command. So the inning just got away.”

After Green came in and gave up a single to Steve Pearce and a triple to Brock Holt, the Yankees were officially done and Lynn ended up allowing three runs in just one-third of an inning.

The 31-year-old Lynn, acquired from Minnesota before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline in exchange for Tyler Austin and a pitching prospect, had plenty of postseason experience, having pitched in the playoffs in five straight years with St. Louis.

He had a miserable time with the Twins — pitching to a 5.10 ERA — before Lynn came to The Bronx on July 30. Lynn pitched well for the most part with the Yankees, but with Severino, J.A. Happ, Masahiro Tanaka and CC Sabathia locked into postseason rotation spots, he was pushed to the pen.

Lynn tossed two scoreless innings in relief in the Yankees’ 5-4 loss in Game 1, entering to start the bottom of the fifth.

Going into Monday’s game, Lynn had been hit hard during his career by Betts, who was 4-for-11 with a homer off him. But Lynn had been good against Benintendi (2-for-11), Martinez (3-for-19) and Bogaerts (2-for-16).

Red Sox win away from reaching ALCS, eliminating Yankees

Red Sox win away from reaching ALCS, eliminating Yankees

NEW YORK — New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone experienced a rough night in Game 3 while Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora saw his decisions work out perfectly.

While Boone appeared to wait too long to get Luis Severino out of the game when the right-hander’s command was lacking, Cora opted to insert Brock Holt into the lineup at second base and start Nathan Eovaldi.

Since those decisions worked out for Cora, the Red Sox can secure their trip to the American League Championship Series by beating the Yankees Tuesday in Game 4 of the American League Division Series.

Rick Porcello will start for the Red Sox against New York left-hander CC Sabathia.

The Red Sox need one win to reach the ALCS for the first time since 2013 when they won their most recent championship. If they are unable to get it Tuesday, Game 5 is Thursday at Fenway Park.

The Red Sox and Yankees are in their respective positions because of what unfolded Monday when Boston cruised to a 16-1 rout.

Holt went 4-for-6 to become the first player to hit for the cycle in a postseason game, capping the milestone with a two-run homer in the ninth off New York backup catcher Austin Romine. Eovaldi, who was originally going to start Game 4, gave the Red Sox seven strong innings and helped hold the Yankees to five hits.

“We’re going to try to take this into tomorrow,” Boston left fielder Andrew Benintendi said. “It’s over. We’ve enjoyed it. Now we can focus on tomorrow and get after it.”

Holt had two hits in the decisive seven-run fourth that was highlighted by Benintendi’s bases-clearing double.

Those hits occurred after Boone lifted Severino with the bases loaded and nobody out. Severino’s fastball velocity was diminished slightly and he was tagged for six runs on seven hits in three-plus innings.

“I mean in hindsight because he didn’t get an out,” Boone said.

Now because of the decisions, the Red Sox will get a chance to clinch their second postseason series win in New York, nearly 14 years after coming back from 3-0 down in the ALCS.

“No choice but to flush,” Boone said after New York absorbed its worst postseason loss. “The good thing about today is it’s one game and, as awful as of a night it was for us, we got to turn the page, and tomorrow’s obviously do or die.”

The Yankees trail a series two games to one for the third straight time. They won Game 4 from Cleveland in the ALDS last season and Game 4 of the ALCS from Houston a year ago.

New York is hoping to force a fifth game in Boston and its history, the only times the Yankees did not force a fifth game after falling behind in the ALDS two games to one was 2002 vs. the Los Angeles Angels, 2006 against the Detroit Tigers and 2007 vs. the Cleveland Indians.

Porcello threw 15 pitches in getting two outs in the eighth inning Friday and protecting a two-run lead. He exited after allowing an infield single to Gleyber Torres, resulting in Craig Kimbrel getting the final four outs around Aaron Judge’s solo homer.

“I think he’ll obviously be ready,” Holt said. “We’re lucky to have him on the mound, that’s for sure.”

As for Porcello’s postseason history, it is inconsistent so far. He is 0-3 with a 5.33 ERA in 12 appearances and is 0-1 with a 7.00 ERA in four postseason outings with the Red Sox.

Porcello made one postseason start against the Yankees in 2011 when he started Game 4 of the ALDS for the Detroit Tigers. Back then Judge was still at Fresno State and Sanchez completed his second season in the minor leagues in the South Atlantic League.

The Red Sox are hoping to see the version of Porcello, who was 2-0 with a 2.31 ERA in four starts against the Yankees during the regular season.

“He’s actually been good against them,” Cora said. “At one point of the playoffs, he was going to start regardless if it was Game 3 or 4.”

CC Sabathia makes his 23rd postseason start and 24th appearance. In those appearances, he is 10-6 with a 4.20 ERA.

Sabathia has pitched particularly well in the ALDS. In 11 appearances (10 starts) he is 6-0 with a 3.32 ERA.

Since joining the Yankees in 2009 as a free agent, Sabathia is 8-3 with a 3.26 ERA in 18 postseason appearances (17 starts).

The veteran left-hander faced the Red Sox twice in the 2007 ALCS with Cleveland and was 0-2 with an 11.61 ERA while losing Games 1 and 5 of that series.

During the regular season, Sabathia was 1-0 with a 4.50 ERA in three starts against the Red Sox.

“Top to bottom, it’s a tough lineup,” Sabathia said. “They’ve got speed. They’ve got power. They take a lot of pitches. It’s a good lineup — bad lineup for me in the fact they take a lot of pitches, they’re patient, and they do a good job of working the count.”

Yanks say Luis Severino's pregame warm-up didn't factor into rout

Yanks say Luis Severino's pregame warm-up didn't factor into rout

NEW YORK — New York Yankees starting pitcher Luis Severino contended that he was not rushed as he went through what he considered a normal pregame warm-up routine ahead of his Game 3 American League Division Series start Monday night.

The 24-year-old right-hander and his pitching coach also said he knew exactly what time the game started and that he was adequately prepared for it, refuting claims made by one of the game’s broadcasters.

“For a game like this, you have to remember what time it is,” Severino said just after the Yankees’ 16-1 loss to the Boston Red Sox. Severino allowed the first six runs the Red Sox scored on a disastrous night for the Yankees’ arms.

With the win, Boston took a 2-1 ALDS lead.

During the game, TBS broadcaster and former New York Mets pitcher Ron Darling floated a question about Severino’s comparatively short warm-up time, suggesting the pitcher might have arrived to the bullpen late, minutes ahead of the game’s scheduled 7:40 p.m. first pitch.

As Darling spoke, cameras with a 7:32 p.m. ET timestamp showed Severino stepping onto the mound in Yankee Stadium’s home bullpen. Pitching coach Larry Rothschild could be seen saying to Severino: “7:40, let’s go.”

Severino’s first pitch was delivered at 7:42.

“It’s very late for a starter to go out on the [bullpen] mound,” Darling said during the broadcast.

Severino, who learned of Darling’s comments when reporters entered the Yankees’ clubhouse after the game, issued a terse rebuttal.

“I mean, if my pitching coach said that [it was late] to you, you can believe it. But [Darling] is not always in my bullpen, so how does he know what’s going on?” Severino said. “I came out 20 minutes before the game like I usually do. I don’t know why he was saying that.

“I don’t know who that guy is, either.”

Darling was a first-round pick in the 1981 draft. He went on to spend 13 seasons pitching for the Mets, Expos and A’s. He recorded 136 career wins and a 3.87 ERA.

On the Yankees’ YES Network postgame show, Yankees broadcaster and former catcher John Flaherty echoed Darling’s remarks.

“There is no way you can go on a big league bullpen mound eight minutes before the scheduled first pitch and expect to be ready,” Flaherty said.

Rothschild disagreed.

“Sevy’s always been pretty short,” Rothschild said.

Added manager Aaron Boone: “He had what he intended to go down there and get done.”

Typically, a starter will throw 21-26 pitches and face a pair of hitters before stepping out of the bullpen and walking to the dugout for the start of the game, Rothschild said.

“He didn’t rush to get in there or any of that stuff,” the pitching coach added. “He was able to sit down for three or four minutes and go out.”

Severino said he likes to begin his warm-up routine about 20 minutes before first pitch, playing catch in the outfield. After he plays catch for about 10 minutes, he enters the bullpen.

A screening of Severino’s pregame routine Monday showed that he was throwing in the outfield at about 7:26 p.m. ET — less than 15 minutes before first pitch.

“Before I went out, I walked through the training room and told him introductions are at :28, and first pitch is at :40. So he was pretty clear with that,” Rothschild said.

“The problem occurred in the third inning, not in the first inning. If there was a difference in his warm-ups, he had already thrown 44 pitches when all of this stuff happened.”

Severino, who pitched into the fourth, began to run into serious trouble in the third inning, when the Red Sox followed a couple of base hits with a sacrifice fly and a fielder’s choice. Boston took a quick 3-0 lead.

Even after that rough inning, the Yankees tasked Severino with going back out in the fourth, despite having gotten relievers up late in the third. Boone and Rothschild believed their ace could get through the Red Sox’s 7-, 8- and 9-hole hitters who were due up.

But two straight singles and a walk, and Severino was back in trouble. By that point, Boone finally determined he had seen enough. In came Lance Lynn out of the bullpen to replace Severino.

“I didn’t think [Severino] was overly sharp from the get-go. Stuff-wise, he was OK,” Boone said. “He certainly didn’t seem as electric as his last time out.”

In his previous start, Severino lasted four innings and struck out seven in a wild-card game win that put New York in the ALDS.

Of the 18 batters Severino faced Monday, seven connected on balls that had exit velocities of 100 mph or faster. According to ESPN Stats & Information, that’s the first time Severino had given up that many hard-hit balls in a game since May 19 at Kansas City.

After his departure, the Yankees’ bullpen didn’t fare much better against the Red Sox hitters. The poor pitching performance culminated in backup catcher Austin Romine entering in the ninth inning, making his only big league pitching appearance. It was the first time since 2015 that the Yankees had used a position player to pitch in a game.

Romine wished he had entered the postseason game in some other, more traditional way.

“No, I didn’t envision myself getting in these playoffs in that role,” Romine said. “But I’m just here to try to help the guys out there.”

Romine, who topped 90 mph on one pitch, got two quick groundouts before giving up a home run to Brock Holt, allowing the Boston infielder to complete the cycle.

Yankees' last line of defense against a visual from their nightmares

Yankees' last line of defense against a visual from their nightmares

They’ve barely had time to rid the room of the rancid stench of stale champagne. Surely they haven’t been able to shampoo the rug yet. Bad enough the Red Sox clinched first place in the AL East after the ninth and final regular-season game they played at Yankee Stadium this year, back on Sept. 20.

Nineteen days later, they will have the chance to do it all over again, to turn the visitors’ clubhouse behind the third-base dugout into a temporary Delta House, this time to celebrate the final vanquishing of the 2018 Yankees.

And unless there is a radical change from what we all saw Monday night, that is precisely what’s going to happen Tuesday. The Yankees chose the worst time possible to suffer their most miserable day of the season, the Red Sox flattening them 16-1, taking a 2-1 lead in this best-of-five, nudging their toes right to the abyss.

“It’s do or die now,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said.

“This was only one day,” Aaron Judge said. “Only one game.”

It is useful to remember that the night the Yankees seized a 3-0 lead in the 2004 ALCS, it was thanks to a 19-8 thrashing of the Sox at Fenway Park. Those Sox weren’t just being measured for a coffin, they were already placed inside. Except a funny thing happened before the Yankees could bury them.

It is the only way for the Yankees to think now, if they want to buy a couple of extra days of baseball season, force an all-in Game 5 on Thursday back in Boston — and, most important, if they want to avoid the dreadful site of seeing the Sox pop corks in their own house again. The way they did in September. The way they did after their 2004 resurrection.

CC Sabathia gets the ball in what may be his final appearance as a Yankee. There will be time aplenty to offer appropriate appreciation for all he’s been here, for all he accomplished here, just not yet. The Yankees need Sabathia to reach back to 2011 or so, figure out a way to halt a Sox offense that, Monday, was a full-on locomotive.

“I can slow the game down,” Sabathia said a few hours before the first pitch, before he realized the season would rest on his massive shoulders, on his left arm. “It’s all the same now. No game is bigger than the other. So I think it helps in that way, and I’ve been in those situations a lot.”

He has been. Back in the day he was also armed with 97-mph gas; now he come after the Red Sox with grit and guile, with cutters and sliders, with the accumulated cunning of time and age. The Yankees won’t need Sabathia to dominate the Sox, just keep them close, keep them in striking distance, maybe let them to take a shot against the Boston bullpen late in a tight game.

It’s what Sabathia gave them last year in Game 5 of the ALDS, in Cleveland, on a night when he wasn’t perfect but didn’t need to be because the Yankees were able to make Corey Kluber bleed. Sabathia gave them 4 ¹/₃ innings and left with a lead; the Yankees will sign for that. They’ll sign for the six innings, three hits and one run Sabathia gave them against the Astros in Game 3 of the ALCS last year, which vaulted the Yankees right back into that series.

“CC is our guy,” Judge said. “Nobody I’d rather have out there.”

The Yankees hitters will need to be better against Rick Porcello in Game 4 than they were against Nathan Eovaldi in Game 3. They will need to get a couple of early runs, get the Stadium crowd into it in a way that the 49,657 poor saps who filled the joint Monday never were able to after the Sox struck early and then drew blood.

The Sox took one easy swing after another against Luis Severino, even in a scoreless first, looked far more comfortable than an opposing team — especially a detested one, with all that history — is supposed to look here. The Yankees had no answers. None of them did. Only Angel Hernandez, the first-base ump for whom there should be a “phone-a-friend” guessing option on every play he calls, had a worse night.

And that will be nothing compared to Tuesday night if, nearing midnight, instead of quietly packing their gear in the visitors’ clubhouse the Red Sox are instead donning goggles and emptying magnums and sloshing in standing puddles of champagne. That would be a really bad night for the local nine.

Holt 1st with postseason cycle, Red Sox rout Yankees 16-1

Holt 1st with postseason cycle, Red Sox rout Yankees 16-1

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Boston Red Sox’s Brock Holt connects for a two-run triple against the New York Yankees during the fourth inning of Game 3 of baseball’s American League Division Series, Monday, Oct. 8, 2018, in New York. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)

NEW YORK (AP) — Brock Holt became the first player to hit for the cycle in a postseason game and the Boston Red Sox routed the New York Yankees 16-1 on Monday night to grab a 2-1 lead in their best-of-five AL Division Series.

Andrew Benintendi lined a three-run double and Holt tripled home two more in a seven-run fourth inning that quickly turned the latest playoff matchup between these longtime rivals into a laugher. Handed a big early lead, Nathan Eovaldi shut down his former team during New York’s most lopsided defeat in 396 postseason games.

Boston battered an ineffective Luis Severino and silenced a charged-up Yankee Stadium crowd that emptied out fast on a night when Red Sox rookie manager Alex Cora made all the right moves. By the ninth, backup catcher Austin Romine was on the mound for New York — he gave up a two-run homer to Holt that completed his cycle.

Game 4 is Tuesday night in the Bronx, where the 108-win Red Sox can put away the wild-card Yankees for good and advance to the AL Championship Series against Houston. Rick Porcello is scheduled to pitch for Boston against CC Sabathia.


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