The Wild Card game is here, and the New York Yankees are in it again. Let’s hope for the same results as last year when the Yanks won 8-4 over the Minnesota Twins.
As much as it’s similar to last year, tomorrow’s game is more historic. Going by win-loss record, the Yankees are the greatest team to ever play in the short history of the MLB Wild Card game, which started in 2012. The Yanks finished the season a whopping 100-62 this season, surpassing the Pittsburgh Pirates 98 wins in 2015. I don’t want to type this, but the Pirates lost the game, 4-0 to the Chicago Cubs.
It’s not just the Yankees that have a spectacular record in Wednesday night’s game. At 97-65, the Oakland Athletics have the third greatest win total ever for a Wild Card game participant, tied with the 2015 Cubbies mentioned above.
Now throw out the records for a second, and let’s talk about the A’s going with the first Australian ever to start a MLB playoff game (history!), Liam Hendriks. Of course, “starter” needs to be in quotations because the A’s are adopting the Tampa Bay Rays’ inspired opener approach. The A’s will be employing their bullpen to win them the game. It might be an assumption, but I imagine we have never seen this in a playoff game, let alone the Wild Card playoff game. History again! Of course, the Yankees are going more traditional, with their ace fireballer Luis Severino.
So, regardless of who wins tomorrow (let’s hope it’s the Yankees), we should feel privileged to watch, on paper, arguably the greatest Wild Card matchup in MLB history. A game that will feature a 100 win team versus a team that is using a new trend with “bullpenning” their way through baseball games. It should be a lot of fun. Don’t take it for granted.