mike francesa
Peter Ackermann | Asbury Park Press

The Yankees’ bullpen blew up again in Game 1 of the ALCS against the Astros.

Mike Francesa has a challenge for Game 2 starter Luis Severino: Don’t let it happen again.

“You have to get a good performance out of your starting pitcher. Severino has to go deep into the game,” the WFAN legend said on his BetRivers podcast. “If you’re back in the pen in the fifth inning, I’m sorry. It’s not going to work against this team. They’re going to take you deep. They’re going to wreck the game. The Yankees are extremely vulnerable there. They have a very weak, inefficient pen now against a team that just keeps coming at you.”

The Bombers squandered an early lead and a solid-enough start by Jameson Taillon in a 4-2 loss on Wednesday night in Houston. The Astros touched up the Yankees’ relievers for three home runs in 3 2/3 innings, wiping out the early lead the Yankees had after Harrison Bader’s home run.

The Yankees rallied a bit late, putting the tying run on base in the eighth. But Astros closer Ryan Pressly came on and shut them down for the four-out save and that was that.

“It’s going to be hard to find believers if the Yanks get popped [in Game 2]. They need to bounce back,” Francesa said. “And to do that, they can’t be in the pen in the fourth inning. It’s not going to work. Unless they score nine million runs. They cannot be in the pen.”

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James Kratch can be reached at james.kratch@xlmedia.com

James Kratch is the managing editor of ESNY. He previously worked as a Rutgers and Giants (and Mike Francesa) beat reporter for NJ Advance Media.