Legends On Deck

All Rise! Yankees Blast Their Way Into The ALDS

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The New York Yankees, who won 91 games in 2017 and finished just two games behind the Boston Red Sox for the AL East crown, showed the baseball world on Tuesday night’s Wild Card match-up with the Minnesota Twins that they are ready for a strong post-season appearance.

But you wouldn’t have thought that early on in the game, as starter Luis Severino was knocked out of the game early by the Twins offense after only recording one out in the first. The 23-year-old righty, playing in his first ever playoff game, just did not have the same stuff that helped him to a 14-6 record and a 2.98 ERA in 2017.  Instead it may have been nerves as he gave up three runs on four hits, two of which left the park.

But the Yankees battled back in the bottom of the frame as lead-off hitter Brett Gardner walked and moved to third on slugger Aaron Judge‘s single to center field.  Then after Gary Sanchez popped out to the catcher, shortstop Didi Gregorius launched a monster shot over the right field fence sending the NY fans into pandemonium, while tying the game at 3-3.

The next inning, the Yankees took a 4-3 lead when Gardner hit a monster blast of his own, launching the ball to the second deck in right field.

The Twins showed they still had life in their game as they scored a run in the top of the third inning to tie the game at 4-4.

In the bottom of the third, the Yankees regained the lead when Sanchez, who doubled leading off the inning into the left field gap, scored ahead of a single off the bat of Greg Bird.

Then in the bottom of the fourth, the mighty Aaron Judge, appearing in his first postseason, hit a screaming line drive over the left field fence for a two-run blast extending the Yankees lead to 7-4.

An insurance run in the bottom of the seventh pushed the Yankees lead to 8-4.

But this night not only belonged to the Bomber bats, the Yankees also showed that they may have one of the best bullpens in the playoffs.

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Chad Green was the first one out of the pen relieving Severino’s poor start, and tossed two innings, allowing one run on one hit, two walks and struck out four batters. Two strikeouts helped stop the bleeding in the top of the first as he stranded two runners in scoring position after fanning Byron Buxton and Jason Castro to end the threat.

Then next came David Robertson, who pitched in the longest game in his career, tossing 3.1 innings, allowing three hits, one walk and struck out five batters.

Robertson did allow one run to score, but it was on what would have been an inning ending double play, but Buxton beat the throw to first and Jorge Polanco scored tying the game at 4-4 in the third.

But from that point on he would give a masterful performance, not allowing a run the rest of the way as he handed the ball over to Tommy Kahnle in the top of the sixth inning. Kahnle did his own magic tossing 2.1 shutout innings, not allowing a hit or a walk, with one strikeout.

Aroldis Chapman then put a huge exclamation pint on the night as he came in firing darts and striking the side, allowing just a single to Joe Mauer. Chapman blew a 103.7 MPH four-seam fastball by Polanco ending the game, while sending the Yankees into an ALDS match up against the Cleveland Indians starting on Thursday night in Cleveland.

The defending AL Champs will now have to contend with finding a way to contain the powerful Yankees lineup, a young team that looks to have the confidence and poise as prior Yankees powerhouse teams.

Can the Baby Bombers continue their journey to a championship season or will the defending AL Champs halt the New York surge?

The battle begins on Thursday, stay tuned….

Grand Slam New York

David is the Co-Founder and Executive Editor of Legends On Deck®, as well as a Co-Host on Legends On Deck Podcast. David was a Senior Editor for MetsMerizedOnline.com, MetsMinors.net and Contributor for Hardballchat.com that spanned from 2010 to 2014. David made his MLB Debut as a writer in June 2014, while covering the NY Mets at Citi Field, for MetsmerizedOnline.com. David also coaches baseball for ages 13-15, a Babe Ruth League team in his local community. David's passion is coaching the game he loves to the future Legends of Tomorrow as well as making available a website that people can have fun sharing and reading. David is also passionate about his career as a Mortgage Loan Officer which allows him to help many families reach their dreams of owning a home. Connect with David via his Social Media pages as he loves to chat all about baseball.

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