Are you ready for the first Yankees-Red Sox postseason series since 2004? 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. Prick up your ears, New Englanders.
The chant went up in the sixth inning, rattling Yankee Stadium to its concrete bones.
The Yankees survived the loser-goes-home affair against the risky A's because starting pitcher Luis Severino rewarded Aaron Boone for his faith and Aaron Judge guided the offense with a first-inning, two-run homer and sixth-inning double.
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.
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Boston had a historic season, blowing past NY in the AL East race thanks to a franchise-record 108 wins. He threw nine fastballs in the first inning, then switched to more offspeed.
He struck out seven his first time through the batting order, but wound up walking four as he pitched carefully. "So I think when you reflect back and look where we started the year, kind of where we came from, it ends up being a good year". That would be Dellin Betances, who relieved Severino with two on and no one out in the fifth and got perhaps the most important six outs of the night.
This time, Severino had a no-decision to savor. Betances gleefully backpedaled off the mound. Aaron Hicks followed with another double off Fernando Rodney.
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After Treinen walked Stanton, and Voit hit an opposite-field drive to right, thinking it was a home run and raising his right arm at the plate.
"I was already excited from the national anthem on", Judge said. And by the time David Robertson succeeded Betances to start the seventh inning, he enjoyed the benefit of a 6-0 cushion. The A's managed to win 97 games despite a half-dozen starting pitchers getting hurt.
But for Dellin, it was more about what happened in the second half and the postseason previous year, when he posted a 5.58 ERA in September and then was one of the lowest relief options on the postseason totem pole, throwing a grand total of four innings over five appearances in 13 Yankees playoff games. Severino doesn't have to go seven innings; he just has to keep it close for four or five innings, if that, and then give way to the overpowering Yankees bullpen, which is now healthy, and, by a wide margin, led the AL in bullpen strikeouts.
Aaron Judge (99) and Andrew McCutchen of the New York Yankees celebrate after Judge's two-run home run in the first inning during the Yankees' victory.
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