John Harper, for SNY.tv | Twitter |
A day later, despite denials from all involved on the Yankees' side, Ron Darling is standing by his comments that Luis Severino appeared to be late for his warm-up before Monday night's ALDS Game 3 loss to the Red Sox.
"It seemed unusual to me," Darling told SNY by phone on Tuesday. "That's why I brought it up. A lot of people can disagree, but, really, I don't know how they could."
Darling, the former Met who does analysis on Mets' games for SNY, told a national audience during TBS' broadcast that he saw Severino begin throwing off the bullpen mound at 7:32 p.m., eight minutes before the game was scheduled to start.
On Tuesday Darling said TBS' production truck had video chronicling Severino's entire pre-game routine, which allowed him to speak with certainty about the times.
"They had everything time-stamped," Darling said. "Severino didn't step on the field until 7:23. He didn't throw a pitch until 7:32.
"I also could see (pitching coach) Larry Rothschild mouth the words to him, telling him it was a 7:40 start. In all my years as pitcher, I never had a pitching coach have to tell me what time the game was.
"I'm not drawing any conclusions or saying the warm-up had anything to do with the way Severino pitched. It's not me trying to crack the code or doing some journalistic exercise.
"It just seemed unusual for a pitcher getting ready for a game like that, and when I find an oddity, it's my job to tell people about it."
Severino pitched poorly in Game 3, allowing six runs in three innings as the Red Sox pounded the Yankees 16-1, but afterward he said there was no confusion about the time the game started, and insisted he had his normal warm-up.
"I did everything the same," he said.
After the game he had been made aware of Darling's comments, and became testy at one point when asked about them, questioning how the former pitcher would know his normal routine.
"He's not around here (all the time)," Severino said.
On Tuesday Darling noted that he had made that very point on the broadcast Monday night.
"That seems to be getting lost here, but I did say that everyone has a different routine," Darling said. "And I said sometimes there can be issues, intestinal issues or whatever. It was just a little different from what I've seen before."
Both Rothschild and Aaron Boone also insisted there was nothing different about Severino's pre-game routine. Although Boone didn't deny Severino only had eight minutes to warm up, he said "it wasn't an issue." Darling said he understood their support.
"The Yankees are circling the wagons," he said. "They have a young, incredible talent in Severino. I'm not judging anyone. There was nothing sinister about me saying what I said. My job is to give fans a peek behind the curtain, and that's what I was doing.
"My other option is to not say anything, as a way of protecting the athlete, but that's not how I work. I'm trying to look for things that are different because I think fans find them interesting. That's all I was doing."