‘We Want Boston’. Yankees defeat A’s 7-2 in Wild Card game
The chants of “We Want Boston” roared through the stands at Yankee Stadium with the Yankees up 6-0 in the 7th. The Yankees took a good A’s team and essentially shut them down. The Yankees never wavered in confidence, got on the A’s pitching early, and even in moments of adversity shut this hard hitting team down.
Luis Severino came out in the first inning and established dominance by striking out the first three batters of the game. It was important for Sevy to set the tone as his previous Wild Card start had gone about as poorly as one can imagine, pitching only 1/3 inning and giving up three runs. This game felt different, probably because Severino came out of the first inning with such confidence.
Andrew McCutchen walked to lead off the bottom of the first and the man himself, Aaron Judge, ripped a poorly placed fastball by “opener” Liam Hendriks into the left field bleachers. His home run gave the rest of the team confidence to just keep chugging away.
Severino pitched masterful for four innings, pitching four hitless innings and striking out seven. The Yankees were hamstrung a bit by reliever Lou Trivino, who was able to string together three scoreless innings. He struck out four and single-handedly kept the A’s in the game.
Luis Severino got into trouble in the fifth after giving up back to back hits. Sevy didn’t even hit 100 pitches, but it was time to get to the bullpen. Unfortunately, Miguel Andujar and Luke Voit goofed up earlier in the game and extended innings for the A’s, who were unable to capitalize. Had they not botched their throws, Severino may have had another inning in him.
At the end of the day, it didn’t matter because Dellin Betances pitched what was probably the best two innings of his life. He got out of the jam that Severino left for him with three straight out, then pitched ANOTHER scoreless inning in the sixth. It was a bold move by Aaron Boone considering Betances’ history of multiple inning games, but it worked out and Boone looked like a genius.
The bottom half of the sixth is where the game broke open. Aaron Judge led off with a chopper double down the first base side that just stayed fair. Aaron Hicks drove him home with a double of his own. Giancarlo Stanton walked and Luke Voit came to the plate. Voit fought off multiple pitches from closer Blake Treinen then muscled a fly ball off the top of the right field wall to score both Hicks and Stanton. Voit pimped what he thought was a home run a bit, but legged out a triple. Didi Gregorius would later bring Voit home on a sacrifice fly where Voit just barely made it.
The turning point of this game was the A’s pitching choice for the sixth inning, as Fernando Rodney lasted less than three batters. While Judge’s double may have been more bad luck than anything, Hicks’ double was a rip and Rodney got behind in the count on Stanton before being pulled in favor of Treinen. Had Rodney not have started the inning so poorly, we may be looking at a completely different game.
David Robertson pitched a scoreless seventh. Zach Britton got into a little trouble in the eighth, giving up a two run homer to the always dangerous Khris Davis. Luckily, Britton was able to get out of the inning and had some pressure taken off after Giancarlo Stanton hit a BOOMING home run in the bottom of the eighth to get that always important insurance run.
Aroldis Chapman was a little wild but was able to settle down after a Marcus Semien hit to close out the game. The Yankees finished the A’s off with a 7-2 victory. It was the kind of win that had its tense moment but the game was never really in doubt. The Yankees are going to have to be a lot better defensively if they plan on beating the Red Sox, although Adeiny Hechavarria made a spectacular leaping catch at third base to help out David Robertson.
Overall, it was a relatively stress free game and one where the Yankees were in control the entire time. Everyone kept saying that all the pressure was on the Yankees, but they looked calm and composed. After Judge’s home run, the game seemed to settle down and the Bronx Bombers didn’t worry about doing too much. The game came to them, and it was a good sign looking ahead.
The Yankees now play the Boston Red Sox in the ALDS. There will be a full preview of the series but it’s just the first time in 14 years that the two are playing each other in the playoffs. I’m not sure what happened that year. Anyway, it should be a great series and there will be plenty of coverage throughout this Yankees’ postseason run. It was an impressive victory for the Yankees, and hopefully there is more to come.
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