Judge showed emotion when he rocked a two-run homer in his first playoff game helping the Yankees to an 8-4 victory over the Twins. “I nearly felt like, and this is a good thing, that I was at a college football game again”, Yankees manager Joe Girardi said, via YES Network. NY defeated Minnesota in the AL Division Series in 2003, 2004, 2009 and 2010, claiming 12 of 14 contests in that span. NY chased Minnesota starter Ervin Santana after just two innings.
The Twins twice denied the Yankees with jumping catches in that game, too – left fielder Shannon Stewart saved one run and possibly two on Ruben Sierra’s shot in the second, and center fielder Torii Hunter pulled in an eighth-inning drive by Alex Rodriguez at the top of the wall. David Robertson was also a huge factor in this win-or-go-home game by throwing three scoreless innings. The Yankees can once again enter a series with the benefit of turning to their normal ace.
The Yankees went 91-71 during the regular season to win the first wild-card spot. NY will be on the road to start the matchup, with the first game taking place tomorrow at Progressive Field in Cleveland. If both Mauer and Dozier perform up to their capability and take advantage of the higher stage they’ll be on it’ll be a happy night in Minnesota. Since the beginning of July, Luis Severino has lost just three games.
Many had written these two teams off prior to the regular season getting started, however, here we are at the end of a marathon regular season, and these two teams are still in it and have something to fight for. Going into last night’s game, no one was really sure how Aaron Judge would react while playing in the biggest game of his life. They can hit home runs. He asked players to do things they don’t: calling on Green in the first inning, pushing Robertson to get 10 outs in the longest outing of his career, and pulling seven more outs from Tommy Kahnle.
In the second inning, Gardner gave the Yankees a 4-3 lead with a solo home run into the right field second deck, and after the ball left his bat, he stared down Santana for buzzing him up and in with the previous pitch. But four hours – they’re starting to rival college football.
A stable bullpen to close out games can go a long way in the postseason, and the Yankees proved they possess that. When the Twins play the Yankees, it never is. And that isn’t all the Yankees have offensively, they have Starlin Castro who hit.300, Didi Gregorius who hit 25 home runs and had a 106 OPS+.