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Luis Severino got Wild Card redemption, but so did Dellin Betances

09 October, 2018, 07:10 | Author: Rachael Silva
  • MLB New York Yankees at Tampa Bay Rays

Going ahead quickly against reliever-turned-starter Liam Hendriks, the Yankees pounded the Oakland Athletics 7-2 Wednesday night to win their second consecutive AL wild-card game. In his one playoff series, which came with the St. Louis Cardinals in the 2015 NLDS against the Chicago Cubs, Piscotty went off with a.375 average and three home runs over four games. The A's don't have a ideal choice. As this season lifted off, Betances looked like he carried a hangover from last year's disastrous postseason, when he lost Joe Girardi's trust by walking five batters in four innings. So instead of going with another starter, such as Mike Fiers or Edwin Jackson, the A's made a decision to go with an opener, Liam Hendriks, then have that deep, powerful bullpen ready for literally the second inning. Still, in his past three starts, his fastball command has gotten better, as has the shape of his slider. Why would A's manager Bob Melvin make a do-or-die matchup a bullpen game? That same AL manager, when he was asked who the Yankees should start in the wild-card game, said "Chad Green".

Yes, one year's time has been very kind to Dellin Betances - and the Yankees. Oakland's pen had the third-best ERA in the majors this season and the best since July 1 (3.35).

That led to the Wild Card Game, where Boone gave Betances the heads-up that he might the first out of the bullpen, coming in at any time as the fireman, and the big man delivered. Yankee Stadium is alive again. Over that same span, the Yankees have won just one title, in 2009. The Yankees wanted no part of flying 3,000 miles to Oakland to play before 35,000 lunatics (a compliment).

Oakland's risky bats were mostly silenced by Luis Severino and a nasty NY bullpen, sending the A's right back across the country and home for the winter - an abrupt ending to their surprisingly successful 97-win season. The Yankees became the only team to ever have 12 players with at least 10 homers in a season; they are so deep, second baseman Gleyber Torres, who hit 24 homers this year, likely will hit ninth in the wild-card game.

"It's been a while since Boston played Yankees in the playoffs".

Despite the final score, Wednesday's game was a nail-biter for the first five innings with Judge's two-run blast in the first as the only score.

The Red Sox won the AL East with 108 wins, setting a new franchise record, and won the season series against the Yankees 10-9.

"We've had a tough time with it", Melvin said.

A notorious brawl took place during Game 3 of the 2003 AL Championship series, when Red Sox ace Pedro Martinez threw 72-year-old Don Zimmer to the ground. Hendriks hasn't gone more than two innings in any of his 25 appearances (including eight "starts") this season, so the A's will need their dominant bullpen to be on top of its game to have any chance of advancing.



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