American League Wild Card: New York Yankees vs. Minnesota Twins

Wednesday, 04 Oct, 2017

"It's not necessarily the best team in the end that's standing, it's the team that's playing the best at the right time", left fielder Brett Gardner said. Once the Yankees jumped out to a strong start and showed they were legitimate contenders, general manager Brian Cashman got aggressive and dipped into a deep farm system for July trades that netted Frazier, Robertson, Kahnle and starting pitcher Sonny Gray.

He also says he won't hesitate to use Betances, who has struggled with his control this year.

A year later, they sent out the Metrodome in insane fashion, beating Detroit 6-5 in 12 innings in the Dome's final - and arguably most thrilling - regular-season game.

NY counters with Luis Severino, who is 14-6 with a 2.98 ERA. It didn't take long for Major League Baseball owners to begin stumping for another expansion of the postseason field, with the added feature of two of those one-game playoffs guaranteed each year.

Added Judge: "He's been dominant". "He's always getting in good counts". Six of those seven times he pitched 1.1 innings and the seventh time 2.0 innings. "He just dominates hitters". Servino has been on fire this season, post a 2.98 ERA and going 9-2 since the All-Star break.

The Yankees led the majors with 241 home runs this season.

Severino took one of the two open rotation spots and hasn't looked back. They've improved their pitching and had some timely hitting, but they're in the playoffs because they've played a lot better in the field. It's the same pitch Severino admitted he abandoned last season because he had lost confidence in it.

Young talent has played a big role in this year's performance.

"OK, well, tomorrow will be one", Santana said when asked about his prior appearances in the Bronx by ESPN's Buster Olney.

With the Yankees' deep and effective bullpen, Severino figures to have a short leash, but Joe Girardi said that won't necessarily be the case.

"Yeah they close and that makes for sort of a dark, and sort of a lonely streetscape here", said Cary Goodman, Executive Director of the 161 Street Business Improvement District. "As long as he's continuing to do his thing, I'm not going to pull him too early". In the 2017 regular season, Santana has compiled a 16-8 record with a 3.28 ERA, 4.46 FIP, 1.13 WHIP, and 7.1 K/9, along with an opposing slash line of.225/.286/.392. Ervin Santana took a tough loss in the series opener after allowing two runs over 5 2/3 innings. The Yankees of course bested the Twins by six wins in the standings, and they put up a run differential of +198 to Minnesota's +27.

Slugging catcher Gary Sanchez was on the Yankees' 2015 AL wild card roster, but did not play when Houston lefty Dallas Keuchel blanked the Yanks, 3-0, at the Stadium - the last postseason appearance for Girardi's club.

Like every single No. 1 seed since the Wild Card round was implemented, the Indians' greatest hope is that the sudden death match turns into an ersatz three-game series out there.