Yankees Lead Twins, 2-0: Live Updates

The Yankees have a 1-0 lead, and absolutely no one should be shocked that it came via home run. But the story of the inning was Luis Severino wriggling out of a self-induced jam in the bottom half of the inning.

With one out in the top half of the inning, Gleyber Torres had gotten the scoring started by lining a ball 376 feet to left center, just clearing the outstretched glove of Jake Cave. The Twins challenged Torres’s first career postseason homer, saying there had been fan interference, but Gary Cederstrom, tonight’s home plate umpire, confirmed the dinger.

The Yankees did absolutely nothing else against Jake Odorizzi. Leading off, Giancarlo Stanton took a pair of mighty cuts before meekly waving at strike three. After Torres’s home run, Gary Sanchez popped out to shortstop and Odorizzi got out of the inning when Didi Gregorius grounded out.

Staked to a lead in the bottom half of the inning, Severino immediately allowed a screaming double off the right field wall by Eddie Rosario. He walked Mitch Garver on five pitches and then gave up a single to Luis Arraez that loaded the bases with no outs. That brought up the powerful Miguel Sano, who, on the eighth pitch of a tense at-bat, skied an infield fly that was reeled in by D.J. LeMahieu for the first out of the inning. Severino struck out Marwin Gonzalez with a vicious slider and then ended the inning by freezing Jake Cave on a slider.

The Houdini act was impressive, but the Yankees are likely concerned that their fragile ace is already up to 45 pitches.

It was an uneventful first inning as each team had one batter reach base, but there was never a real scoring threat.

Jake Odorizzi got off to a strong start in the top half of the inning by striking out D.J. LeMahieu on four pitches, blowing three consecutive four-seamers past the All-Star infielder. Aaron Judge appeared to fly out but was awarded first base via catcher’s interference, and he proceeded to get to second on a wild pitch. But Odorizzi recovered nicely, striking out Brett Gardner and getting Edwin Encarnacion to fly out to left to end the threat.

Luis Severino was a bit shakier at first in the bottom half of the inning, but still put up a zero. He walked the leadoff batter, Max Kepler, on five pitches, and needed seven pitches to retire Jorge Polanco on a soft fly ball to left. But then he induced a double-play ball from Nelson Cruz that ended the inning.

The Yankees will be trotting out the same starting lineup that generated 18 runs over the first two games of the series.

  • D.J. LeMahieu, 1B

  • Aaron Judge, RF

  • Brett Gardner, CF

  • Edwin Encarnacion, DH

  • Giancarlo Stanton, LF

  • Gleyber Torres, 2B

  • Gary Sanchez, C

  • Didi Gregorius, SS

  • Gio Urshela, 3B

The Twins, going against a right-hander, will go with the same lineup they used in Game 2.

  • Max Kepler, CF

  • Jorge Polanco, SS

  • Nelson Cruz, DH

  • Eddie Rosario, RF

  • Mitch Garver, C

  • Luis Arraez, 2B

  • Miguel Sano, 3B

  • Marwin Gonzalez, 1B

  • Jake Cave, LF

  • Much has been made of the Yankees’ starting rotation being bolstered by the return of its ace, Luis Severino. But there is some risk inherent in having a pitcher who is still working his way into shape being counted upon to anchor a team. Severino did not face major league hitters until the Yankees’ 152nd game of the year, and got just 12 innings over three starts. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Severino’s regular season workload was the fourth-lightest by a pitcher asked to make a postseason start — Virgil Trucks holds the major league record with just five and a third regular season innings before starting two World Series games for the Detroit Tigers in 1945.

    Severino pitched well in those 12 innings, with a 1.50 E.R.A. and 17 strikeouts, and he was terrific for most of the 2018 season. But there is also the matter of his rocky postseason résumé. The 25-year-old has started six playoff games and has gotten past the fifth inning in just one of them. Perhaps the lowest moment of his career was the 2017 wild card game against the Twins, when he was pulled after allowing four hits and a walk before recording a second out. When asked about that performance on Sunday, Severino showed a sense of humor by smiling and saying, “I don’t even remember that.”

  • Severino will be going up against Jake Odorizzi, who is charged with ending Minnesota’s record streak of 15 consecutive losses in playoff games. Odorizzi would seemingly be the ideal man for the job, considering he allowed three or fewer runs in all but one of his 13 starts after the All-Star break. The only problem? The lone exception was a disaster of a start against the Yankees on July 24 in which he allowed nine runs in four innings.