NEW YORK – Luis Severino will start the AL wild-card game for the New York Yankees against the Oakland Athletics on Wednesday night, a chance to make up for his awful outing in the winner-take-all matchup against Minnesota last year.
“I think he’s equipped in so many ways to handle this, and perhaps most importantly, he’s equipped with amazing stuff and the ability to dominate big league hitters because he’s such a talented pitcher,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said Tuesday.
Severino was chosen over J.A. Happ and Masahiro Tanaka. Boone said he made the decision Saturday.
Severino made his postseason debut in last year’s wild-card game. He got just one out and left with a 3-0 deficit, but New York rallied for an 8-4 win.
“I was too excited,” Severino said. “It was a good experience. Now I’ll take that tomorrow and try to treat that game like a regular game.”
A 24-year-old right-hander, Severino was 19-8 with a 3.39 ERA and 220 strikeouts. He was 14-2 at the All-Star break but lost six of his next nine decisions before beating Boston and Tampa Bay in his last two outings.
He lost 8-2 at Oakland on Sept. 5, allowing six runs – five earned – and six hits in 2 2/3 innings. He threw two wild pitches and Gary Sanchez had two passed balls.
“I think it was a miscommunication between us,” Severino said. “I think we didn’t set the right signs.”
The wild-card winner advances to a Division Series against Boston starting Friday.
Happ, Tanaka and Lance Lynn will be part of a nine-man bullpen.
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