AL Wild Card 2017
- Author: Stacy Allen Oct 04, 2017,
Oct 04, 2017, 0:16
NY won an AL-high 51 games at home this year and have won 20 of their last 28 games going into the postseason, giving them extra confidence.
For the Twins, Paul Molitor is in his third year and has lead Minnesota back to the playoffs for the first time in seven years. The victor heads for Cleveland to play the AL Central champions in a best-of-five Division Series beginning Thursday.
But the wild-card game is a single game, winner-take-all that will likely come down to the starting pitchers: Luis Severino for the Yankees against Ervin Santana for the Twins. "Both of those games were intense, some of the coolest moments I've ever experienced", Cuddyer said.
In the end, the home crowd and Yankees lineup will prove to be too much for the Twins to handle.
"The faces have changed so much", said Joe Girardi, who managed NY past Minnesota in 2009 and 2010 division series.
Severino, who was dropped from the rotation in 2016 and not awarded a spot in this year's rotation until the final days of spring training, emerged as the Yankees' unquestioned ace.
Later Friday, the NL East champion Nationals will host the NL Central champion Chicago Cubs in Game 1 of their NL Division Series at 7:31 p.m. EDT at Nationals Park in Washington. Santana won 16 games this year with a 3.28 earned run average in 33 starts.
"Whether he's going to start or not, I still haven't inked it in yet", Molitor said.
Bull Dozier. Perhaps the team's most well-rounded player, Dozier joined Hall of Famer Kirby Puckett (1986-90) as the only Twins with five consecutive seasons of 30-plus doubles.
"I think we've played some of our best baseball in the month of September", said manager Joe Girardi. The Yankees have seven legitimately outstanding relievers, including three at the back-end that are among the game's best. Six of those appearances Hildenberger commanded the mound for more than 2 innings, and in only 3 of those 15 games did Hildenberger allow any runs. In 116 games for the surprising Twins, he hit 28 homers with 77 RBIs. With five complete games, he had more by himself than 27 other teams.
As the playoffs get underway, we take a look at what to expect when two of baseball's best stories collide in the Bronx tonight.
Wearing an "OCTOBER READY" workout T-shirt, Sanchez said that the young Yankees will "focus on being ready and have fun", trying their best to treat it as Game 163 of the season.