Friday, April 14, 2017
Aaron Hicks homered from both sides of the plate and Luis Severino struck out a career-high 11, leading the Yankees to their fourth consecutive victory Thursday, a 3-2 win that completed a series sweep of the Rays at Yankee Stadium.
Hicks accounted for all of the Yanks’ scoring, homering off right-hander Matt Andriese in the first inning before slugging a go-ahead two-run shot on a hanging curveball from left-hander Xavier Cedeno in the seventh. Hicks said that he is working to adjust after a subpar first season in pinstripes.
“I’ve got to keep my swing short. I can’t have a long swing,” Hicks said. “If I play every day, then obviously I can get a little bit more loose with my swing, but when you don’t play every day the timing goes away fast. I’ve got to make sure I have a short swing and solid contact.”
Hicks’ heroics helped make a winner of Severino, who limited the Rays to two runs over seven innings, picking up his first win as a starter since Sept. 27, 2015, against the White Sox in Chicago. Severino whiffed five of the last seven batters he faced.
When Cashman dealt for Hicks, it seemed like Hicks was on the upswing (but it also seemed like the guy Cash traded for Hicks, J.R. Murphy, was ALSO on the upswing), but he sure didn’t look like a guy who could be a regular last season. It’s obviously too early to say that anything’s changed, but for now, we’ll gladly take any performances like this one that Hicks would like to offer up.
That goes for Luis Severino, as well, who looked like a real starter tonight. He wasn’t just getting by with his top-level stuff (although the stuff continued to be there right until the end of the start), but he was also locating it well. This was a fine, fine win. The Rays are not a good team, but a sweep of any team is impressive.
The only upsetting thing about this win is that Greg Bird continues to look lost at the plate. Doesn’t this whole thing just seem like the sort of thing that the Yankee medical staff is going to handle wrong somehow? Like Teix’s infamous “bone bruis…oh, wait, never mind, it’s a broken leg. We’ve been trying to make you play on a literal broken leg” incident from 2015. It’s not inspiring a whole lot of confidence when Bird looks so awful out there after being so dominant during Spring Training (they made the guy the #3 hitter out of Spring Training for a reason, ya know?). Maybe a slump is a slump is a slump, but it is still worrisome.
Previous entry: Rays (5-4) @ Yankees (4-4), Thursday, 4/13/2017, 07:05p ET