Scouts: After a very exciting day for NL fans, the AL fans finally get to kick off their Post-Season celebrations.
The Oakland Athletics have fairly quietly been one of if not the best team the second half of the season. They let no one get in their way. Meanwhile, the Yankees have struggled. Struggled with high expectations, struggled with a tough division, and struggled with various injuries. Just last month, these two teams met in New York in what at the time everyone knew was a likely Wild Card preview, and the Athletics thoroughly dismantled the Yankees. Things were looking pretty grim. But, that they say was a life time ago, as we all know once the playoffs hit, it’s a new day, nothing previous matters anymore and everyone is on fresh ground.
Luis Severino has been struggling lately, enough to cause many to wonder aloud if he should even be pitching this game. All he did was strike out 7, and allowed just a pair of hits over 4 shutout innings.
It sure didn’t hurt his cause when Aaron Judge lifted a two-run homer after a lead-off walk by Andre McCutchen to start the game.
Then the New York bullpen of death came in as they rolled out four of the best closers in the game, one by one in Betances, Robertson, Britton, and Chapman. Oakland never really had a chance. New York piled on 4 more runs in the 6th, and by the time Oakland got their offense off the ground, it was too little too late.
There will be much talk about Oakland’s decision to leave all their starters at home, and instead approach the game as a bullpen day. Liam Hendriks who called himself an “opener not a starter” didn’t exactly win hearts and minds allowing two runs immediately out of the gate. While the bullpen settled down some, they still faltered when Fernando Rodney and Blake Treinen entered the game. Meanwhile the Yankees went with a more traditional approach and it seemed to pay off this time.
Now New York will head on up to Boston, in a matchup that is sure to make MLB execs wet themselves with glee. If you ask me, the best part of that match-up is that someone has to lose. Sadly that also means that someone has to win.