New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi said he pulled Luis Severino from Saturday's American League Championship Series loss to the Houston Astros after four innings because he thought the starting pitcher was injured.
After the 2-1 Game 2 defeat, Severino said he "wanted to go out there and pitch" and team doctors confirmed the starter wasn't hurt, per Andrew Marchand of ESPN.com.
"I think it is my responsibility to protect this kid," Girardi said.
Severino threw 62 pitches across his four innings of work, giving up two hits, two walks and one earned run.
Tommy Kahnle and David Robertson covered four scoreless innings out of the bullpen for the Yanks, but closer Aroldis Chapman allowed the winning run in the bottom of the ninth.
Girardi said Severino's actions on the mound suggested to him there might have been a shoulder problem, but the pitcher said he "didn't feel anything," per Marchand. The Yankees manager added the starter might go for further testing, something Severino said he didn't think was necessary.
Meanwhile, Saturday's loss put New York in a 2-0 series hole for the second straight series. They fell behind the Cleveland Indians in the ALDS before storming back to win three consecutive games to punch their ticket to face the Astros.
It's unclear if Severino will take the ball again in the series. CC Sabathia is the team's probable starter for Game 3 on Monday night at Yankee Stadium.