Yankees host Twins in AL wild-card game

The victor of the single game knockout will face the AL Central champion Cleveland Indians in the AL Division Series starting on Thursday.

NY had made just one post-season appearance since 2012, losing the 2015 wildcard game to Houston 3-0.

Game 2: Friday, October 6, 5:00 p.m. The two teams then play each other in a one game playoff to become the number four seeded team for their given league. They had started the regular season well, winning 21 of their opening 30 games, before suffering a mid-season slump that saw them drop back to 45-40. The Yankees have dominated the Twins over the years.

From there, the Yankees received historically good performances from their bullpen. They've got a good lineup, as well.

Minnesota matched the Boston Red Sox from 1986 to 1995 for the worst post-season skid ever, with 10 of those losses in NY. Unfortunately, Sevvy looked as bad as he did the last time he took the hill against the Twins back on September 20, when he allowed three runs and five hits in just three innings.

This still is the Indians' series to lose, and the Yankees can't expect a barrage of home runs from Judge and co. That was the luxury-liner version, with high-priced older talent performing in well-established roles. NY is patient at the plate, athletic on the bases and in the field and always aggressive. On a 3-2 pitch, Rosario lined a two-run homer into the right-field seats for a 3-0 Minnesota lead.

Joe Girardi called his bullpen's work remarkable.

Before the last rites could be read, the Yankees' never-say-die character emerged. There were two outs and the Twins had put two runners on base against Robertson, who, by that point, had been on the mound for more than three innings. In this case, the Twins will be starting veteran right-handed pitcher Erving Santana, while the Yankees will counter with a young hard throwing righty Luis Severino according to ESPN.com. Santana labored through a 42-pitch inning, highlighted by a game-tying home run from Didi Gregorius after walking Brett Gardner and allowing an Aaron Judge single. Girardi said Green will need at least two days off and so will Robertson. The offense provided plenty of support, matching the Twins' output with three runs in the bottom of the first inning and adding at least a run in each of the next three frames.

You won't see Johnny Wholestaff again Thursday.

"I know I pushed some guys a little bit further than I would like, " Girardi said. It validated the Yankees' blockbuster trade deadline deal that saw Robertson and Kahnle come over from the Chicago White Sox, along with third baseman Todd Frazier. Matt Holliday hasn't resisted the move to coming off the bench.

"I think he understands that he's a leader", Molitor said. "You want to keep it as normal as possible".

Brett Gardner will lead off for NY, with AL MVP contender Aaron Judge second. They aren't going to find one. They won Tuesday night, after it looked like they might lose early.

  • Julie Sanders