The MLB Playoffs get underway tonight, featuring a win or go home American League Wild-Card game between the Minnesota Twins and New York Yankees. The game did not go quite the way the Yankees would have hoped but hey, a win is a win.
David Robertson, who worked 2 2/3 innings, was credited with the win for the Yankees, who used five pitchers. Their series will start on Thursday night with Progressive Field hosting the game.
Neither side were expected to reach the postseason this year with NY undergoing a rebuilding process while Minnesota were the worst team in baseball with a awful 59-103 record. "I'm excited to take them on. and I think we're more than capable of getting the job done".
Green was the first of a parade of pitchers who came in from the Yankees' bullpen. This version has grit, youthful self-confidence and unselfishness. Ace Luis Severino was a disaster in the top of a first inning that he didn't get out of.
On just the fifth pitch of the game, Twins leadoff hitter Brian Dozier sent a towering home run to left field.
But Joe Girardi deserves plenty of credit, too, WFAN's Mike Francesa said Wednesday, calling the job the Yankees manager did "tremendous".
Before the last rites could be read, the Yankees' never-say-die character emerged.
NY reliever Chad Green escaped the two-on jam with strikeouts of Byron Buxton and Jason Castro, though, and then Santana wilted in the bottom of the inning. Severino will be opposed by fellow Dominican Ervin Santana. That game is scheduled to get underway at 8:08pm ET, and will air on TBS.
Judge hit a line-drive, two-run homer in the fourth inning to make it 7-4. Tommy Kahnle is another part of the bullpen monster for the later innings, but if Severino gets in trouble early, Chad Green could definitely be called upon to eat up some outs to bridge the gap to the back-end of the "pen". In two and a third innings, Kahnle wouldn't surrender a hit and struck out one.
"They're aggressive on the basepaths, so we're putting the bigger arm in center field and someone with speed", Girardi said, adding that he's "going with the more athletic club".
In other words, the Yankees will do whatever it takes.
"It was fun... I had a great time, " Robertson said. He's had trouble before against a number of Yankees players, including Todd Frazier, Gregorius and Gardner. Matt Holliday hasn't resisted the move to coming off the bench. Judge went deep in that one against Santana, who owns a 5.66 ERA in 20 career starts versus NY - his highest mark against an AL team. Since 2012, he has never played fewer than 147 games.