Randy Miller | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com
Right-hander Luis Severino changed up his game plan from past outings against the Astros on Wednesday, May 2, 2018 (5/2/18) at Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas and threw the first complete-game shutout of his career.
HOUSTON — Before we go into how Luis Severino was able to do something no Yankees starter had accomplished in more than a calendar year, an important backstory needs to be told.
Prior to Severino throwing the Yankees’ first complete-game shutout since Masahiro Tanaka in April 2017, pitching coach Larry Rothschild drew up a game plan for Wednesday night that included some major tweaking from how the young ace was instructed to attack Houston Astros hitters in past seasons.
Remember how Severino’s short-but-oh-so-sweet rookie season in 2015 led to return trips to the minors in 2016 because his changeup needed a lot of developing?
Well, it’s been a weapon that’s been getting better and better for two seasons to coincide with Severino’s high 90s-to-100-mph heater and nasty slider, and for this start Rothschilld wanted more changeups thrown to Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa and Co.
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Once that plan was set up, it was up to Austin Romine, the Yankees’ No. 2 catcher on most nights but the starter on Wednesday, to call for the change frequently.
And it was from there that Severino went out and executed this game plan so well and so efficiently that he was rewarded with a chance to finish what he started.
Severino excitedly went back out for the ninth with his pitch count at 98, and 12 pitches later an incredibly impressive 4-0 Yankees victory over the World Champs was in the books.
“I felt like most of the night he was on cruise control and just lighting it up,” Yankees manager Aaron …read more