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Aug 06

Yeah, Severino a Keeper

I don’t know how much Chase Headley‘s error in the second rattled Luis Severino. It probably rattled Yankee fans more than it did Severino because I couldn’t see any indication that Severino knew that he was starting in Yankee Stadium for a first place team against the dreaded Red Sox. He might as well have been playing catch in Trenton for as much difficulty as he had keeping his emotions in check. Headley’s error came with two outs, so perhaps Severino wanted to really cut loose to show everyone what all the hype was about. Then that one pitch to Alejandro De Aza resulted in a long double and an unearned run. The third was quick. In the fourth, one meaty fastball to David Ortiz on a 2-0 count traveled 435 feet. That’s fine. Severino promptly gets back to work and whiffs Hanley Ramirez on a nasty slider low and away.

You’ve probably read all the reviews on Severino’s performance, and if this is the first account of his night, then I’m sorry for you. I don’t have the team knowledge to really get into how this affects the Yankees moving forward, not in the strictest sense anyway, and I haven’t been following them closely enough other than trade deadline rumors and Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira heroics. I do know that a 21-year old kid was tossing 96-mph fastballs to the corners for five innings, keeping the ball out of the middle of the plate for the most plate. He also showed a nice slider, which seemed to improve as the game went on.

I was amazed, honestly, that a kid that looks that young brings heat like that and locates as well as he does. He’s 21. That doesn’t seem like it should be that way. His changeup is a work in progress, coming in at 90-mph, but he fooled Pablo Sandoval on one in the fourth, after Ortiz went yard and he struck out Ramirez, so even when things sort of went bad Severino used all his pitches. He finished that inning with a strikeout of Mike Napoli, on a slider after working the outside black at 96.
It won’t always be this good. Allowing two runs, one earned, on two hits in five innings of work and striking out seven is great work in a major league debut. Even if it didn’t live up to the dream ending of his first big league win, I’m sure Yankees fans would rather see that arm end with a dream season and another championship. The Yankees will need arms like Severino’s to keep away the right-handed heavy juggernaut lineup that Toronto has managed to put together thanks to Western division teams shedding salary. Severino has the type of arm that could quiet the bats of Troy Tulowitzki, Josh Donaldson, Jose Bautista, et al.
Well, if anyone could quiet that homer happy crew these days.

Below I’ve listed the particulars for yesterday’s game. The tables and charts don’t exactly tell the entire story of last night’s pitching performance. These are just numbers, not stories, and each start is its own individual story. I like to think of these charts as the footnotes at the bottom of James Joyce’s A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. They’re not essential to making sense of the story’s narrative flow, but it definitely adds to the story’s richness if you understand the political and religious climates of late nineteenth century Ireland. In other words, it’s one thing to know that a thing occurred in a linear fashion, but it’s best to gain a deeper understanding as to why those events occurred.

Pitches by Type:

##  Pitch Type Count    %
##    Changeup     4 4.26
##      Cutter     6 6.38
##    Fourseam    62  66.
##    Two-seam     6 6.38
##      Slider    16 17.0

Pitches by Outcome:

##                           Changeup Cutter Fourseam Two-seam Slider
## Ball                             0      2       22        2      7
## Ball In Dirt                     1      0        0        1      0
## Called Strike                    0      1       13        0      1
## Foul                             1      1       18        1      2
## In play, no out                  0      0        0        1      0
## In play, out(s)                  0      0        4        1      3
## In play, run(s)                  0      1        1        0      0
## Swinging Strike                  2      1        3        0      3
## Swinging Strike (Blocked)        0      0        1        0      0

Pitches Velocities & Movement:

##  Pitch Type  Min Mean  Max Mean Horizontal Mean Vertical
##    Changeup 86.9 87.6 88.5          -9.905         5.205
##      Cutter 90.2 90.8 91.5           1.713         3.710
##    Fourseam 87.5 94.5 97.5          -4.674         9.168
##    Two-seam 88.8 89.5 90.0          -9.817         6.145
##      Slider 84.8 88.8 91.6           2.679         2.524

Note: Horizontal movement denotes average distance, in inches, from point of release to home plate (+ moves away from a right-handed batter) while vertical movement is average distance, in inches, from release point to home plate.

Average (MPH) Velocity for Pitches by Starters Last Night:

LS_BoxPlot

Below are the pitch locations by both batter stance (left or right) and by pitch type.

Pitch Location by Batter Stance:

LS_Stance

Pitch Location by Pitch Type:

LS_PitchesPitch Locations by Batter:

LS_Batters

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