Just like old times. The New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox will face off in the playoffs for the first time in fourteen years. Last night the Yankees took down the Oakland A’s 7-2, to extend the Yankees’ home playoff win-streak to seven games.
After much debate, the Yankees ended up going with Luis Severino, who had struggled in the second half but has looked much better of late pitching to a 2.04 ERA and 18 strikeouts in his last three starts. The Yankees could not have asked Severino for a better start with a 1-2-3 first inning.
The Yankees wasted no time in getting on the board. Andrew McCutchen continued to be an on-base machine drawing a leadoff walk which brought Aaron Judge to the dish. Judge cracked a 427-foot bomb into the left field bleachers to jump out to an early 2-0 lead.
“I was already excited from the national anthem on; Sevy went out and went 1-2-3, and I knew after that it was going to be a good first inning,” Judge said. “Cutch went up there and had a fantastic at-bat that allowed us to see a couple pitches, and I just tried to do my job.”
Severino ran into his first signs of trouble in the 4th inning as he walked the bases loaded but bailed himself out with a strikeout to end the inning.
Severino lost the no-hitter in the 5th inning by giving up back-to-back singles to Johnathan Lucroy and Nick Martini. Dellin Betances came in to bail out Severino and he did not disappoint getting the first two batters to fly out followed by a strikeout to end the inning.
Adeiny Hechavarria was brought in as a defensive replacement for third baseman Miguel Andújar, and paid off when he robbed a laser line drive from Oakland shortstop Trevor Semien.
Betances was brought out for the 6th and worked a 1-2-3 inning.
Judge led off the bottom of the 6th with a blooping double to right field. Hicks followed with a double of his own to bring Judge home to put the Yankees up 3-0. Giancarlo Stanton followed with an eight-pitch walk which brought up the red hot Luke Voit. Voit missed a short porch homer by centimeters but he was able to stretch it into a triple to put the Yankees up 5-0.
“He was sniffing a triple the whole way,” Judge joked.
From this point on, there were several “We want Boston” chants coming from the electric crowd.
Didi Gregorius followed with a sac fly to stretch the Yankee lead to 6.
AL home run leader Khris Davis was the only one to inflict any kind of damage, hitting an opposite field 2-run shot to make it 6-2 in the top of the 8th.
In the bottom of the inning, Stanton led off with an absolute moon shot to left field. This one was a no doubter off the bat going 443 feet with an exit velocity of 117.4 mph.
The Red Sox are coming into the playoffs off a franchise record 108- win season and have scored more runs than anybody in baseball. On paper the Red Sox will be favored and rightfully so. But the Red Sox have not had much postseason success over the past few years.
The Yankees will travel to Boston for Game 1 of the ALDS on Friday night. Bring on the rivalry.
Featured image via Flickr/Arturo Pardavila III