- The New York Yankees will host the Minnesota Twins in theAmerican League's wild card elimination game on Tuesday as Major League Baseball's post-season gets underway. The 34-year-old finished the regular season with three straight road starts, including a tough loss at Yankee Stadium on September 18 in which he allowed two runs and seven hits in 5 2/3 innings.
This game is at the new Yankee Stadium.
To Nancy and all of the other departed Twins fans who passed away in the past year, I have one more tiny favor to ask of you. The last time the Pinstripes played in this winner-take-all Wild Card game was 2015 when their postseason run was cut short by the Houston Astros. Since the beginning of July, Luis Severino has lost just three games. Two more hits sprung the bullpen into action, beginning with Chad Green. It's time to see if Aaron Judge will make his mark in history by leading the Yankees to a win tonight. The Twins will be without Sano, but Buxton hit 11 of his 16 home runs during the last two months of the regular season. He can also become potential emergency relief if for some reason something goes horribly wrong with Santana in his start.
For starters, they're at home - where they won an AL-leading 51 games this year - and they enter the playoffs on a hot streak, having won 20 of their last 28.
Greg Bird put the Yankees on top for good with an RBI single that drove in Gary Sanchez from second. Santana got Aaron Hicks to ground out two batters later, though, escaping the inning after 42 pitches. Sano grounded out in his only at-bat against left-handed closer Aroldis Chapman, who throws 103 miles per hour; and has three strikeouts and a walk against David Robertson and a strikeout in his only look at Chad Green. NY had been setting themselves up to compete for a championship in either 2018 or 2019, while Minnesota was the only team to win fewer than 60 games in 2016.
- Saturday Night Live comedian Leslie Jones attended the game, was shown on the scoreboard before the Yankees hit in the third inning and responded by flipping off the camera.
In the fourth inning, Gardner singled to left on an 0-and-2 pitch and Judge followed with his low rocket into the first row of left field seats.
But the bullpen - and the manager pulling its strings - gave the Yankees their first postseason victory in five long years. The victor of this game will take on the Central Division Champion Cleveland Indians on Thursday. During the season the Yankees were 2-5 against the Indians. Game 1 is Thursday night at Cleveland's Progressive Field. Gray went 2-1 through 3 starts against Arizona with a 3.50 ERA, while Greinke went 2-1 through 5 starts against Colorado with a 3.41 ERA.