LOS ANGELES — The stage is set for Friday night at the start of the biggest series to offer in June.
But any intrigue or pitcher-fight premonition of what would happen in the first round was ruined by the end of the first inning.
The Dodgers let in six runs with multiple loud contacts before Luis Severino scored three outs, and the Yankees lost 8-4 in front of a packed Dodger Stadium crowd.
In the first game since returning from the disabled list, Giancarlo Stanton and Josh Donaldson hit solo homers off of Clayton Kershaw, but the Yankees (34-25) held off against the veteran lefty. It was the only time we were able to gather all of our strength over the seven innings.
Donaldson then hit a two-run homer in the ninth inning in his first game since April 5, but it wasn’t enough to protect the Yankees from their second straight loss.
Severino started the first two games after returning from an IL stint with a strained right latissimus dorsi muscle, giving up just three runs on a combined five hits.
But the Dodgers topped both marks in the first inning alone, and Severino allowed seven runs on nine hits, including three homers, in the final four innings.
The Dodgers (35-23) ambushed Severino on a night when Severino’s fastball average dropped from 97.3 mph in his first two starts to 2.3 mph.
Mookie Betts smashed Severino’s second pitch of the night into the Dodgers’ bullpen for a 1-0 lead, before closing out the rally with a two-out RBI hit that made it 6-0.
In the meantime, Severino had five singles, a home run by Max Muncy, and a sacrifice fly just a few feet away.
Just as problematic as the amount of contact Severino allowed was how hard the ball left the Dodgers’ bat. In the first time alone, they went 110.1 mph, 165.4 mph, 94 mph, 161.7 mph, 40.2 mph (check swing infield single by JD Martinez), 161.1 mph, 99.2 mph, 89.7 mph, 99.3 mph. mile, recorded 98.6 miles per hour.miles per hour
Overall, 14 of the 19 pitches the Dodgers threw against Severino came from the plate at 94 mph or more.
Severino was rescued in the first inning, but things got even worse when Jose Trevino hit James Outman far from third base, the runner was in the corner, and Freddie Freeman was at bat.
For Kershaw, the opening inning was very different, as it took just five pitches to get the Yankees out of the lineup.
The Yankees had a bullpen action in the bottom of the first inning, but Severino came back in the second to force the team out. However, Martinez hit a home run out of the third inning to give the Dodgers a 7–1 lead.
Most of the 52,534 in attendance enjoyed every inch of Severino’s jerking off, lending some air to what was expected to be one of the league’s most iconic showdowns between the two teams.
“I think the Dodgers-Yankees are going to sound good this June weekend in Los Angeles,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said hours before the series’ premature collapse. “Perhaps you’ll get a little extra juice.”
But only the Dodgers drank it.
Tommy Carnley sprinted out of the bullpen to relieve Severino and started in the fifth inning of his season debut.
After missing the first two months with right bicep tendinitis, Carnley returned to pitching in a scoreless inning, allowing a double and a walk, but struck out the outman to end the threat.
Betts then hit his second homer of the night off Webber in the sixth inning.
The former Red Sox outfielder finished the night with 4-for-4, 1 walk and 3 RBI.