Tonight is the night. No… It’s not ideal that the Yankees won 100 games and are in a one game elimination scenario. However… At least the game is in the Bronx.
The Yankees will be facing a very good A’s team. A much better team than they faced in the Wild Card Game last year.
The A’s were not expected to be in the Postseason. They outplayed all expectations all season long, and they are hoping to continue that tonight.
They lost their top 7 starting pitchers before the season was even half over. But… They still found a way to win 97 games, unbelievably impressive.
Oakland has one of the best bullpens in baseball, and they will hope to lean on it again tonight. They are only carrying one starting pitcher on the roster tonight, Edwin Jackson. A’s will start reliever Liam Hendricks.
This shows they will try to piece the game together inning by inning, hoping to get to Familia in the 6th or 7th and give the ball to their stud closer Blake Treinen for the 8th and 9th.
They have a lot of power in their lineup as well, which could serve them well playing at Yankee Stadium. However they also have a lot of swing and miss potential in their lineup, which could play right into the hands of the Yankees starter.
The Yanks are putting their Ace, Luis Severino on the bump tonight. Sweet Lu went 19-8 with a 3.39 ERA and 220 strikeouts in the regular season.
Sevy stared last year’s Wild Card Game against the Twins and didn’t make it out of the 1st inning. He only faced 6 batters and left the game down 3-0, a game the Yankees rallied back to win thanks to their power and bullpen.
However, after that start Severino was much better in the following playoff games. He started this season on fire and looked like a CY Young Award winner. He hit some bumps in the road around the All-Star Break but has gotten it back together lately.
The Yankees are confident he can go deeper into this game, but are equipped if they need to pull him early again. They have starters, J.A. Happ, Tanaka and Lynn ready to roll if needed.
Assuming Sevy can go 5-6 innings the Yankees can then turn the game over to their powerful, talented bullpen. With the likes of Chad Green, Jonathan Holder, David Robertson, Zach Britton, Dillon Betances and Aroldis Chapman… To close out the game.
The Yankees lineup with lean on their star rookies, Miguel Andujar and Gleyber Torres who have been nothing short of fantastic this season. They will be surrounded by veterans Didi, Hicks, Judge, Gardy and McCutchen.
And then.. Their high priced former NL MVP… Giancarlo Stanton, Who makes his MLB Playoff debut tonight. He is going to be key for the Yankees to move on to the ALDS, they can not afford a 4 strikeout game from their slugger.
Yanks are also hoping star sensation Luke Voit stays hot. He has hit about 100 homers since the Yanks traded for him, and he is keeping Greg Bird off the roster. They will also carry 3 catchers tonight.
This all shows me… The Yanks are prepared for a long game, they can play deep. That, mixed with the A’s bullpen pricing the game together… Be ready for a 5 Hour Baseball game this evening.
I am going into this game confident… But also very nervous. There are so many questions…
Will Stanton hit?
How deep can Sevy go?
Will the stage be too big for the rookies?
Can Voit stay hot?
Only time will tell. I do believe that the stadium will be rocking, the ghosts of Yankees past will be present and the home field advantage will be undeniably.
If the Yankees focus on tonight. Don’t overlook this A’s team and look toward the Red Sox… I think they will get it done at home… But this A’s team will not go quietly into the night.
It’s Playoff Baseball Baby… And whether you love them or hate them, it’s always better when the Yanks are in it!
Lets Go Yanks… I want a postseason battle with Branded Dubs!!
-Kevin “That Yankee Fan Guy”
Yup... I’m that guy