By BEN WALKER AP Baseball Writer
NEW YORK (AP) – Their ace got booed off the mound, loudly. Their manager let things get out of hand. And their backup catcher wound up pitching.
“It was an embarrassing day today,” New York Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius said.
Not much else to say after the Yankees absorbed the most-lopsided loss in their distinguished, 396-game postseason history, routed by the Boston Red Sox 16-1 Monday night in the AL Division Series.
Now down 2-1 and in danger of being eliminated in the best-of-five matchup, they’ll turn to CC Sabathia on Tuesday night in hopes of saving their season. Rick Porcello starts for Boston.
“No choice but to flush,” manager Aaron Boone said. “The good thing about today is it’s one game. And as awful of a night as it was for us, we got to turn the page. And tomorrow’s obviously do or die.”
Luis Severino looked out of sorts from the start. There was a TBS report that he began to warm up only 10 minutes before the game began, but Boone insisted he had enough time to get ready. Severino also said there was no issue.
“I always go to the bullpen 10 minutes before the game,” Severino said. “I warm up quickly.”
The game fell apart quickly, too.
Severino was tagged for six runs on seven hits and two walks in three-plus innings. Jeered as he walked to the dugout during a seven-run burst in the fourth, it soon was 10-0. By the seventh, the stands had started to empty. The fans who left early missed a bit of history – Austin Romine became just the second position player to pitch in a postseason game.
The second-string catcher actually hit 90 mph with his fastball. And he squarely hit Brock Holt’s bat, and the result was a two-run homer in the ninth that gave Holt the first cycle in postseason history.
“I was just trying to get it over the plate,” Romine said.
Romine joined Toronto infielder Cliff Pennington, who pitched in the 2015 AL playoffs against Kansas City, as non-pitchers to take the hill at this time of year.
“No, I didn’t envision myself getting into the playoffs in this role,” he said.
Holt’s homer helped the Red Sox post the biggest rout of the Yankees in postseason play, surpassing Arizona’s 15-2 pasting in Game 6 of the 2001 World Series.
A sellout crowd arrived early at Yankee Stadium, loudly chanting and cheering even before the teams lined up for pregame introductions. Clearly, no one rooting for the home team expected anything like this.
Catcher Gary Sanchez dropped a pitch on a stolen base that set up Boston’s first run. Left fielder Andrew McCutchen was slow to retrieve a hit that proved costly. And Boone was slow to pull a struggling Severino, admitting he could’ve made the move sooner, rather than waiting until Boston loaded the bases in a hurry.
“I mean, in hindsight because he didn’t get an out, sure,” Boone said.
And when Boone did call for a reliever, he summoned a starter, Lance Lynn, rather than someone from the deep New York bullpen. Lynn promptly walked Mookie Betts on four pitches to force home a run that made it 4-0, then gave up a three-run double to Andrew Benintendi.
“Lance had a little bit of trouble, obviously, coming in there. So it just turned into a really bad inning for us,” Boone said.
It was a sharp turnaround for Severino.
Severino started New York’s postseason with four shutout innings in the AL wild-card win over Oakland last Wednesday. The performance also alleviated fears in the Bronx – temporarily, anyway – the 24-year-old righty had put past playoff troubles behind him.
Instead, coming off a career-high 19 wins, he exited with a 1-2 record and a 6.26 ERA in six postseason starts.
“Of course, I’m disappointed,” Severino said.
More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/tag/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
(Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)