New York take a deep breath… the Yankees playoff dream will live past the Wild Card game after last night’s defeat of the Minnesota Twins 8-4.
Right out of the gate, this game looked bleak for the Bombers as starting pitcher Luis Severino lasted just a third of an inning. His replacement, Chad Green would enter the game with three Twins’ runs on the board and two players on base. Green secured the final two outs as he struck out Jason Castro and stranded runners on second and third. The Twins hit two home runs in the top of the first and led with a score 3-0 as the Yankees took the field.
Much like the Twins took advantage of Severino, Yankees batters took advantage of the Twins starter Ervin Santana. In the bottom of the first Brett Gardner walked, Aaron Judge hit a single and shortstop Didi Gregorius ripped a 3-run shot that tied game. Gregorios’s play re-awakened the stadium after top half woes had silenced them. Santana would only last two innings after he gave up another score, a homerun to Gardner, that turned the 3-3 tie into a Yankees 4-3 lead.
Minnesota tied the game on a Byron Buxton RBI forceout, however, the game would not remain tied for long. Yankee Greg Bird would take a 3-1 fastball and blast it into right field for a run scoring single that drove in Gary Sanchez who led off the inning with a double.
An 84 mph curveball from right hander Jose Berrios would be Judge’s ticket to start his postseason legacy in pinstripes. Judge lined a two run shot over the left field wall that gave the Yankees a 7-4 lead in the fourth inning. Judge is just the third Yankee rookie to homer in the postseason via Sports Center.
The Yankees would score one more time. It was the bottom of the eighth with bases loaded after an Aaron Hicks walk while bases were loaded. Judge would score and add one more to the Yankees lead, 8-4.
The Yankees had the upper hand in what would be a battle of the bullpen. The third ranked Yankee bullpen with a 3.34 ERA would overcome the Twins and help secure the win. The bullpen line of 8 ⅔ innings, one run, five hits, and 12 K’s with pitchers Chad Green, David Robertson, Tommy Kahnle, and Aroldis Chapman provided Luis Severino a much needed pickup to help the Yankees seal the deal.
The Yankees advance to the ALDS against the Cleveland Indians this Thursday on FoxSports1.
Expected to matchup against Twins’ Trevor Bauer in game one, the Yankees will likely go with Masahiro Tanaka or Sonny Gray, though nothing is official yet.
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