On Tuesday night in front of an electric crowd at Yankee Stadium, the New York Yankees prepared for their Wild Card one-game playoff matchup against a gritty and tough Minnesota Twins team. The Yankees made their first playoff appearance since their 2015 Wild Card loss to the Houston Astros (I was there). The Minnesota Twins as a team has made the biggest improvement of any team this year becoming the first team ever to make the playoffs after losing 100-plus games the year before. Those two headlines were two of the few that added to what was a very entertaining game.
The Yankees sent out their young pitching ace Luis Severino, the Twins countered with veteran Irving Santana. In his first career postseason start, the first inning for the 23-year-old Severino pitched poorly as he was only able to record just one out in the first inning after giving up three runs, including two home runs. Manager Joe Girardi had to make a big decision and he made a few good ones starting with Chad Green. Green was able to get out of trouble for Severino. He pitched two innings in relief, striking out four batters. Green then was relieved by David Robertson, who threw 3 1/3 innings and striking out 5. After being down 3-0 in the first, the Yankees came back with three runs of their own thanks to the swing of shortstop Didi Gregorius. Left fielder Brett Gardner would hit a home run to give the Yankees the lead. The Twins would tie it up at 4, only for Yankee first baseman Greg Bird to knock in a RBI single to put the Bronx Bombers up 5-4. Yankee slugger Aaron Judge would open up the gates for the Bronx Bombers with his two-run homer, which then put them up 7-4. The team would add one more run on a bases-loaded walk. In the ninth, the Yankees turned to their closer Aroldis Chapman to seal an 8-4 victory.
The Yankees will now face the Cleveland Indians. A team many believe is the most complete in the playoffs, not to mention they did have a 22-game winning streak during the regular season. In seven games with the Indians this season, the Yankees went 2-5. One thing about this Yankee team is their bull pen is good, really good! In relief of Severino, the bull pen was able to piecemeal together 8 2/3 innings pitched, giving up five hits, one run and collecting thirteen strikeouts. The first game between the two teams in the American League Divisional Series will begin tonight in Cleveland.
Sports Notes: (NFL Football) The Jets are a surprising 2-2 this season after winning their second straight game versus the Jacksonville Jaguars. The team will head to Cleveland to face the winless Browns. There are currently four winless teams left in the NFL. Unfortunately, the New York Giants happen to be one of them. The team has lost their last two games on last-second field goal kicks. Quarterback Eli Manning and company will attempt to capture their first win again at home versus the Los Angeles Chargers, who will be trying to get their first win as well.