After finishing the regular season strong, James Paxton will open the American League Division Series against the Twins on Friday night in the Bronx.
Aaron Boone announced on Thursday morning that Masahiro Tanaka will start Game 2, and Luis Severino will start Game 3 on the road at Target Field.
Big Maple will be making his postseason debut on Friday. Down the stretch, he went 11-0 with a 2.51 ERA, holding batters to a .177 average. In his final start against Texas, Paxton left the game early with “tightness” in his glute. On Thursday, Paxton said it was a non-issue, and added that he’s looking forward to the big start.
Paxton: "I'm really honored to get this opportunity to pitch Game 1. It's going to be great."
— Brendan Kuty (@BrendanKutyNJ) October 3, 2019
To me, Tanaka makes sense as the Game 2 starter. Joe Torre always started Andy Pettitte in Game 2, because if you lost Game 1, Andy was your stopper. Tanaka has a career 1.50 ERA in the postseason, and has proven he can step up in big games.
Severino has only made two road postseason starts in his career, both at Houston in 2017. In those starts combined, he pitched 8.2 innings, giving up five hits, four runs and six walks. He started the 2017 Wild Card Game against the Twins.
In somewhat of a surprising move, CC Sabathia did not make the ALDS roster. Boone revealed that after CC’s appearance out of the bullpen in Tampa on Sept. 24, Sabathia’s shoulder didn’t respond well. He received a cortisone shot, and is still recovering.
CC Sabathia will not be on the ALDS roster. Aaron Boone said Sabathia’s shoulder did not bounce back as well as they had hoped. Had cortisone shot.. he’ll continue to work to potentially be an option moving fwd #yankees
— Meredith Marakovits (@M_Marakovits) October 3, 2019
Rosters have to be finalized by Friday morning. First pitch on Friday night is scheduled for 7:07 p.m.