“He was legit, man. He shoved it up our —. He shoved it.” – Astros 3B Alex Bregman, on Luis Severino
— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) May 3, 2018
Severino took command of the Astros lineup early and never let up through nine. He was throwing heat, giving up only five hits and getting Astros players out with 98-100 mph fastballs for his first complete game shutout. “He was legit, man.”
Severino, in short, was the epitome of an ace. He exuded confidence and elite stuff, and was at ease negotiating the most difficult lineup in baseball. The Astros heavy hitters were held in check by Severino—Jose Altuve went 1-4 on the night and Carlos Correa 0-4 with a strikeout.
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Severino also appreciated the offensive firepower of Giancarlo Stanton who had a two run homer, a solo shot over the wall and a double in the Yankees 4-0 win.
After the game, reports Randy Miller of NJ.com, Severino made a stand for Stanton and a prediction:
“At the end of the season, he’s going to hit 50 home runs,” Severino said. “I don’t care what anybody says. He’s a great hitter and he’s going to continue doing good stuff.”
Fans saw Stanton break out on Wednesday night—in Monday’s and Tuesday’s games against Astros pitchers Charlie Morton and Justin Verlander, Stanton had gone 0-4 with three strikeouts—either he was due for a breakout or he was an imposter—it was time.
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Yankee fans have seen flashes of Stanton’s power, but not with enough consistency to keep the boo birds at bay. Fans are eager to cheer Stanton on with regularity—every day, if that’s not too much to ask.
Not according to Stanton who told Ken Davidoff of the New York Post:
“There are breakout nights, but you’ve got to go back to the drawing board and get it going. You need breakout weeks,” Stanton said. “One day ain’t going to do it. But this put us in a good place, and we’re set up to win the series. Put it away tomorrow.”
Stanton needs to string successful at-bats along successive days and his batting average will climb from .240, where it currently stands, towards .281, which is where he left off last season—and with any luck, beyond.
Stanton had the distinction last night of being the first Yankee to ever homer off of Dallas Keuchel, per James Smyth:
Dallas Keuchel Career vs. Yankees (9 GS, incl. Postseason)
ERA 1.59 (11/62.1)
Lowest ERA for any P to make 8+ starts vs. Yankees since 1920
62.1 IP the most vs. Yankees without allowing a HR since Grover Lowdermilk (81.0 IP, 1915-20 SLB/DET/CLE/CHW)
— James Smyth (@JamesSmyth621) May 2, 2018
This, surely, is just the beginning of many such distinctions for Stanton as a Yankee this season.
Stanton and Severino teamed up for a pair of historic firsts against the Astros on Wednesday night and have pumped up the momentum going into the final game of the series today.