NEW YORK — Finally at full strength, the Yankees looked like a team on a mission as they got the job done, winning the American League Wild Card Game, 7-2, over the Oakland Athletics.
With the win, the team can now look ahead to a match-up with the 108-win Red Sox in the ALDS. Oakland, on the other hand, is going home after their fairy tale season came to an end, Wednesday night, in the Bronx.
With a raucous New York crowd on hand, the Bombers ensured little anxiety, almost immediately going on top.
After a breezy top of the first, Andrew McCutchen did what he did best to leadoff the game, get on-base. Then, with a man on, Aaron Judge sent the crowd into a frenzy, sending a Liam Hendriks pitch 427-feet into the stands in left field.
Though Lou Trivino stifled the team over the next few innings, the Yankees opened the floodgates in the sixth inning.
Facing the familiar Fernando Rodney, Judge and Aaron Hicks opened the frame with consecutive doubles to increase the Yankee lead to 3-0.
Then, after Giancarlo Stanton walked, Luke Voit barely missed a three-run home run and instead settled for a two-run triple that got him and the entire crowd fired up. Didi Gregorius then drove him in with a sacrifice fly a batter later.
For Oakland, this particularly hurt because they had their star closer Blake Treinen on the mound, yet New York was able to rough him up for three runs in two innings.
The third run was a bullet homer from Stanton that made the lead 7-2, and sent Treinen out of the ball game and essentially sealed the win for New York.
As for the other side of the ball, Luis Severino as well did a stellar job, working 4-plus innings, and giving up no runs and just two hits to a strong Oakland offense. He also struck out seven Athletics in the effort.
Though he did work himself into trouble multiple times, the Yankees squeezed themselves out of both situations unscathed.
First, with the bases loaded in the fourth, Severino geared up with his fastest pitch of the night, 100 mph on the gun, to strikeout Marcus Semien and strand the bases loaded.
Then, in the fifth, after he departed with two runners on and no outs, Aaron Boone called on Dellin Betances to clean up the mess.
Protecting a 2-0 lead, the right-hander delivered getting three straight outs, before pitching another frame and giving his team two solid innings.
The only Oakland runs came across to score in the eighth, when MLB home run leader Khris Davistook Zach Britton deep for a two-run homer.
Aside from that, however, everything went according to plan for Boone with Betances being credited with the win, and Aroldis Chapman sealing the win with a dominant ninth innning.
For Yankees fans everywhere, this was a great sign as it seems the team is healthy and clicking at the right time. With October just starting, one can only imagine what this team at full capacity can do against any of the league’s best.
Game 1 of the ALDS will be played at Fenway Park on . Chris Sale will pitch for the Red Sox, while Aaron Boone has not named a starter for the game.