At this time of year, there is a huge difference between being 3 1/2 out of a wild card spot, and being 5 1/2 out. Sure, it’s two games, but those two games can feel like ten games when you have less than 30 to go.
The Yanks needed a victory over the Orioles on Sunday afternoon to keep it at 3 1/2. Also, the less teams they need to jump over, the better. That is why Manager Joe Girardi pulled out all the stops, and had a quick hook that saved the game for the Yankees in their 5-2 win.
The Yanks got three in the first. Gardner and Refsnyder walked, and after Sanchez and Castro struck out, Headley singled in a run, a wild pitch moved the runners up, and Romine singled in two.
The Yanks made it 4-0 in the third. Refsnyder singled, Sanchez walked, and after Refsnyder moved to third on a DP ball by Castro, Headley once again came through with two out with another RBI single.
But starter Michael Pineda gave a run back in the bottom of the fourth. In the fifth, a single and double made it 4-2, and Girardi brought out the hook and pulled Pineda. Some managers would try to squeeze another inning from him so that the starter can get the win. Not in this case. In came Severino, who got a strikeout, but then two walks loaded the bases.
Severino, in trouble, then got a strikeout and groundout to get out of the inning.
This raises some questions on Severino. He has had a terrible year this year, going 2-8, 6.79. But his numbers are drastically different.
As a starter: 9 starts, 0-8, 8.58.
As a reliever: 5 games, 2-0, 0.00.
He’s only 22, so I’d say it’s too early to give up on him as a starter right now, but those numbers do have you scratching your head.
Anyway, Severino bridged the gap to the bullpen, and the Yanks got another run in the ninth when Austin reached second on an error, went to third on a sac bunt by Torreyes and scored on a SF by Gardner. Some littleball that the Yanks have to do more often.
Pineda 4 + IP, 2 R, 5 H, 2 walks, 4 K. 5.10
Severino (W, 2-8, 6.79) 2 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 2 walks, 2 K.
Layne (H, 7) 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks, 0 K. 3.35 (Bos/NYY)
Warren (H, 11) 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks, 0 K. 5.05 (Cubs/NYY)
Clippard (H, 19) 2/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 walks, 2 K. .3.31 (AZ/NYY)
Betances (S, 8) 1 1/3 IP , 0 R,0 H, 0 walks, 2 K., 2.08.
The Yanks are 70-65. 4th in AL East, 6 1/2 behind Toronto. They have a big three game series at home vs. the Blue Jays starting today. They are 3 1/2 games out of the final wild card spot and have to jump three teams to get it.