Severino & the Bombers Blast the Pirates. NY 16 Pittsburgh 0

It was a 10-0 game until the Pittsburgh 2nd baseman started pitching. That happened in the 9th so all the runs after that were pile-on.

And it was a 0-0 game into the 5th — the real hero and story of the game for the Yankees was Luis Severino, who pitched a beautiful 6 innings of 4-hit, shutout baseball.

And then the Yankee Bombers arrived — 2 runs in the 5th, 2 more in the 6th, 1 in the 7th and 5 runs in the 8th — the last 5 off old friend Manny Banuelos.

Aaron Judge hit his 30th homer — a Grand Slam — making it a “Perfect Evening”. Except for Banuelos.

NY improves to 59-23; 14 games ahead of Boston and Tampa, and 14.5 ahead of Toronto. The Pirates fall to 33-48.

On a warm July Wednesday night in Pittsburgh; the game delayed 1 hour by thunderstorms.

1. Severino Terrific

Severino “Houdini-ed” out of a jam in the bottom of the 1st – allowing a game-leadoff single then double, but with 2nd and 3rd nobody out – got a popup, strikeout, and groundout to get out of it. And after that, he retired 12 Pirates in a row before allowing a single in the 5th.

“We were throwing a lot of strikes,” said Severino afterwards in explaining his success. “First pitch strikes. If I threw a slider it was a good pitch; if I throw down and away… We were attacking the whole game.”

Severino was helped by terrific Yankee defense. Josh Donaldson made a terrific play in the 2nd — ala Graig Nettles but he was playing way over at the shortstop position.

And Gleyber Torres continued to pick it in the field — snaring a line shot in the 4th and making it an easy out.

2. Yankee Bombers Arrive Late, but Bomb Away

But meanwhile the Yankees were getting shutout through 4 innings by Pirates 6’2 righty Mitch Keller, a 26-year-old who entered with a 2-5 5.14 record. Keller induces lots of ground balls — and before the game, the Pirates ground crew meticulously vacuumed the infield for him after the rain.

The strategy was working:

The Yanks had only scored 2 runs in the prior 2 games — getting 1-hit Monday night — so Yankee Twitter was becoming restless.

The Yankees were listening — and on queue mounted their attack. It started with a Joey Gallo walk to lead off the 5th. Kiner-Falefa singled him to 3rd and then stole 2nd base.

With one out DJ LeMahieu singled them both home for a 2-0 Yankee lead.

In the 6th, the Yankees finally completely figured Keller out, his 3rd time thru the lineup: with 2 outs, Josh Donaldson hit a bomb to left.

Joey Gallo followed with a back-to-back and belly-to-belly homer for a 4-0 NY lead. The Bombers had arrived.

Kyle Higashioka hit a bomb to lead off the 7th off reliever Beede and it was 5-0 NY.

3. Bye Bye Banuelos

The Pirates brought in Manny Banuelos to pitch the 8th against the Yanks — whom he had just been with only a week ago. This was the Manny Banuelos reclamation year — NY picking him back up and he had such a great Spring Training; pitched well in AAA, and had that great night two weeks ago.

But once Albert Abreu was waived and became available, the Yanks signed him and waived bye bye to Banuelos. Also the Yanks are deep in lefties as JP Sears has been terrific and Ken Waldichuk is coming soon; he’s been terrific in AA and AAA this year.

Banuelos struck out Gallo to start the 8th but then, single, walk, walk loaded the bases, and Aaron  Judge hit a BOMB to left for a Grand Slam and 9-0 Yankee lead. Game over.

Banuelos allowed a double to Aaron Hicks and was yanked.

Reliever Chris Stratton walked Giancarlo Stanton and Gleyber Torres to load the bases and Josh Donaldson hit a sac fly to make it 10-0.

4. The 2nd Baseman Came In to Pitch

The Pirates were scheduled for a day-night double header the next day so brought in their 2nd baseman Josh Vanmeter to pitch to top of the 9th.

Vanmeter started serving up 78-MPH batting practice pitches — he was a bad pitcher even as 2nd baseman go — but looks like he’d be terrific in the Home Run Derby.

Falefa singled, LaMahieu singled, Marwin Gonzalez singled to load the bases, and BOOM — Aaron Hicks hit a BOMB to left for a Grand Slam — the 2nd Yankee Grand Slam in an inning. 14-0 NY.

Giancarlo Stanton, up next, cashed in on the 78-MPH meat balls by launching a BOMB to right for a 15-0 lead.

It wasn’t over and looked like it would never be over. Vanmeter kept throwing batting practice pitches:

  • Gleyber Torres singled,
  • Donaldson grounded out (shame on him),
  • Gallo walked again,
  • Kiner-Falefa singled, and
  • Kyle Higshioka singled and it was 16-0.

It really looked like the game might go on forever.

Finally LeMahieu grounded out to end the madness.

On Twitter various blue checkmark baseball players were discussing how this was bad for baseball.

5. Chapman Looked Good Again! Abreu Flexes.

Good news for the Yanks — Chapman pitched for the second time in two nights and was lights out again — a 1-2-3 inning (lineout, strikeout, groundout).

And Albert Abreu flexed over Banuelos in the 9th — pitching (for the Yankees) a shutout inning, striking out 2 — including the final batter for the old ballgame.

The Boxscore

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