It seems nearly impossible for the starting pitcher of a Major League Baseball team to forget the start time of any game, let alone a playoff game. Yet here we are.
The Boston Red Sox shelled New York Yankees starter Luis Severino on Monday night en route to a statement 16-1 win over in Game 3 of the American League Division Series.
Severino couldn’t escape the fourth inning and ended the night with an ugly pitching line: three-plus innings, six runs (all earned) on seven hits and two walks with just a pair of strikeouts.
Perhaps adding insult to injury, however, is an observation TBS made at the top of the broadcast. As Severino threw in the outfield prior to the game, TBS cameras caught Yankees pitching coach Larry Rothschild saying something along the lines of “You know first pitch is at 7:40” before looking up at the scoreboard, perhaps checking the time.
TBS then showed a replay of Severino beginning his warmup tosses in the bullpen at 7:32 p.m. ET … eight minutes before the game was supposed to begin.
The game started on time, so it’s not like Severino had extra time to get more throws in.
“If you read lips, pitching coach Larry Rothschild told him ‘7:40,’ almost like Severino didn’t know it was a 7:40 start,” Ron Darling observed on the TBS broadcast. “Not that he had to rush through his warmup, but it’s always uneven when he went out there at 7:32, very late for a starter to go on the mound.”
When asked about the ordeal in his postgame press conference, Yankees manager Aaron Boone insisted Severino had enough time to get ready. When asked if TBS’ assertions were wrong, though, Boone opened up a bit more.
“I’m not saying — I’m saying he had his — he had plenty of warmup,” Boone said, trying to find the right words. ‘He had what he intended to go down there and get done, and Larry said he was able to get through his normal routine, where he faces a couple of hitters and everything. So, it wasn’t an issue.”
Severino also insisted he was on schedule, taking Darling to task in the process.
“I mean, if my pitching coach said that (it was late) to you, you can believe it. But (Darling) is not always in my bullpen, so how does he know what’s going on?” Severino told reporters, per ESPN.com. “I came out 20 minutes before the game like I usually do. I don’t know why he was saying that.
“I don’t know who that guy is, either.”
We don’t have a choice other than to believe Severino at this point, but the results certainly weren’t pretty for the Yankees pitcher, and now New York must fight for its season in Game 4 on Tuesday night.