Luis Severino has waited nearly two months to make his season debut and the long-awaited moment will happen as Aaron Judge and Anthony Rizzo roll.
Will Nike bid farewell to Ja Morant? | The referencing fair
Severino will return from a lat strain and hopes to see Judge and Rizzo produce more big hits when the New York Yankees go for the host’s three-game sweep Cincinnati Reds on Sunday
Severino, who missed two months with the same injury last season, is pitching for the first time since an ALCS Game 2 loss to the Houston Astros, 3-2 on Oct. 20. His last regular season outing was seven no-hitter innings at Texas on Oct. 3. That effort capped a season where he came back from Tommy John surgery going 7-3 with a 3.18 ERA in 19 starts spanning 102 innings.
He’s made two rehab starts and returns to a team with 13 wins in its last 18 games after a 3-2 loss to Cleveland on May 1.
Severino is 1-0 with a 4.00 ERA in two career starts against the Redswhich he faced on July 13 and was injured after giving up three straight homers on second
“He’s a great pitcher and I can’t wait for him to be part of this rotation,” New York manager Aaron Boone said. “I know what kind of impact he can have for us.”
Boone also knows what kind of impact Judge and Rizzo are showing lately. Judge went 4-for-4, reached base five times and hit the deciding single in the 10th inning before Rizzo hit a two-run homer in Saturday’s 7-4 victory.
THE Yankees are 9-3 since Judge returned from a brief stint on the disabled list with a strained right hip. Since returning, batting .378 (17 for 45) with seven home runs and 18 RBIs
“I try not to think about being in a hot streak,” he said. “It’s about going out there and assessing the situation. I’m looking at who’s on the mound and what I need to do to help the team.”
Rizzo, who has 24 career homers in Cincinnati, has hit base in 17 of his last 18 games. He also bats .353 (24 for 68) with six home runs and 15 RBIs during that span.
“Rizzo has been our rock,” Boone said. “He’s been rock solid to start the year, that consistent, even when we’ve been missing Judge for all 10 or 11 games.”
In addition to attempting to stop Judge and Rizzo, the Reds hope to avoid a fourth straight loss after 25 strikeouts in the first two games of the series. One of those strikeouts was Jonathan India’s in the ninth after fouling on a knee ball, but he was sworn to play on Sunday.
“He actually doesn’t look too bad,” Cincinnati manager David Bell said of his second baseman. “Not too terrible. The good news is that it’s not broken.”
Jake Fraley hit an RBI single and hits .355 (22 for 62) with 22 RBI in his last 21 games.
THE Reds hopefully a strong performance from Hunter Greene (0-3, 4.60 ERA) can help erase the disappointment of the previous two games. Greene allowed three or fewer earned runs in his first eight starts before being tagged for six runs and nine hits in four innings of a Monday no-decision at Colorado.
Greene gave up two homers and allowed five in his last three starts after giving up just one homer to Pittsburgh’s O’Neil Cruz in the season opener.
Greene never faced Yankees and the only New York hitter he ever faced was Harrison Bader