Sports

Bring on Boston: Yanks rout A's in wild-card game

Bring on Boston: Yanks rout A's in wild-card game

The New York Yankees advanced to the MLB American League Division Series thanks to a 7-2 victory against the Oakland Athletics in their one-game playoff clash. The Yankees will start 19-game victor Luis Severino, their ace who had a 2.10 ERA through June but hasn't been the same pitcher since.

The reserve catcher came up with runners at the corners and drove in Trevor Story with a two-strike hit back up the middle off losing pitcher Kyle Hendricks, quieting the crowd of 40,151 on a crisp fall night. "I know I'm proud of the effort that he gave, but I'm not surprised either because I feel like he's been in a really good place really all season long for us". In fact, he was bad, posting a 5.57 ERA over his final 12 starts.

"I may be the first (Australian), but I'm hoping I won't be the last", he said. Hendriks (the loser) had not allowed a home run since June 24, the night before he was cut from the major league roster.

He not only came back, but proved he could pitch well in the postseason and did so with his back to the wall in every single one of his appearances as the Yankees were either tied or behind in that current series.

Are the Yankees finally healthy?

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That's the word from Yankees manager Aaron Boone.

Much was made about Luis Severino's redemption in the AL Wild Card Game, but the man who replaced him on the mound in said game also, in a way, redeemed himself from last postseason.

Severino was hot to start this season. The Yankees and Red Sox will open the ALDS on Friday with identical 0-0 records.

"All empires fall sooner or later", then-Red Sox president Larry Lucchino said that night.

New York's bullpen has allowed one run in 10 innings, led by Dellin Betances, Zach Britton and Aroldis Chapman.

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Boone maintained his faith in the four-time All-Star, however, and just as important, a wealth of bullpen options and a rampaging Yankees offense empowered Boone to lighten up, relatively speaking, on Betances.

Aaron Judge walked past Boston's Fenway Park clubhouse early Sunday morning, Frank Sinatra's rendition of "New York, New York" blaring from a boom box atop the wheelie bag he was pulling with his left hand. They made that abundantly clear in the sixth inning of the winner-takes-all game by chanting exactly that at the top of their lungs as they were coasting to another AL wildcard win.

Severino emerged from last season as one of the Yankees' best pitchers.

One hundred wins or more in a season is tremendous, but with all of the Yankees' success, their stellar line-up that includes Aaron Judge, who hit 52 home runs previous year, breaking the rookie record; Giancarlo Stanton, the National League MVP and RBI leader acquired in the offseason in a deal with the Miami Marlins; short stop Didi Gregorios; and pitchers Severino, Masahiro Tanaka and CC Sabathia might not have expected the Red Sox, their division rivals, or maybe even the Tampa Bay Rays (90 wins, 72 losses), to be better.

According to ESPN, the Red Sox lead Major League Baseball in runs per game, on-base percentage, doubles, clutch hitting, WAR and defensive runs saved. That's right, Houston and.Boston. I've gotten a chance to watch and witness a lot of great games as a Yankee, but, for me, that probably will be my biggest highlight.

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