Tonight the Yankees will begin their ALDS series against the Cleveland Indians, but to get here, they had to find their way past the Minnesota Twins in the Wildcard Game.

 

It started off on a shaky note for the Bronx Bombers who looked to Ace arm Luis Severino to shut it down in this winner take all game. Severino would only record one out in his outing as Brian Dozier led off the game with a home run which was followed by a two run shot by the Twins later that inning.

 

Right out of the gate, the Yankees were down 3-0 and it seemed as if their playoff woes of the last five years would continue.

 

The Yankee offense, however, would have none of that.

 

After a leadoff walk by Brett Gardner, Yankees standout rookie Aaron Judge fisted a ball into centerfield, advancing Gardner to third. This set up a three run line drive shot to right field by Didi Gregorius with one out that tied that game up at 3-3 after the first inning.

 

The Yanks would add another in the bottom of the second inning thanks to a Gardner solo shot to right, putting them up 4-3.

 

After trading runs in the fourth inning, the Yanks would put the game away in the later innings to seal the deal.

 

An RBI single by first baseman Greg Bird and a two strike line drive home run to left field by Judge would be the daggers in the hearts of the Twins who became the first team in major league history to make the playoffs after losing 100 games the year prior.

 

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Judge’s homer made him the second Yankee rookie of all time to hit a homerun in his playoff debut and it was the shot that all but sealed the historic franchise’s first playoff win since 2012.

 

8 runs, three bombs and consistent offense is a good recipe for any team’s success, especially in the playoffs. However, it was the bullpen who allowed the Yankees to take a stronghold on this game.

 

As previously mentioned, Severino only managed to record one out, leaving the other 8 ⅔ innings to the Yankees vaunted bullpen, one of the best in baseball.

 

It started with reliever Chad Green inheriting the mess left by Severino and cleaning it up with no excess dirt striking out the next two hitter to leave the inning with the Yankees only down three.

 

Green would throw a solid two innings before giving David Robertson the ball with one out in the third with bases loaded. Robertson got the ground ball he was looking for, but had it been anyone by Byron Buxton at the plate and running down the first base line, no runs wild have scored on a sure double play ball. However, Buxton beat out the throw, and the runner from third came across to score.

 

After Robertson’s 3 ⅓ innings of work, manager Joe Girardi then handed the ball to Tommy Kahnle who would cruise through 2 ⅓ innings to finally give the ball to flamethrower Aroldis Chapman in the 9th, a spot he is definitely used to.

 

With an 8-4 lead, Chapman just needed to throw hard and throw strikes, and that’s what he did. Chapman struck out three of the four hitters he faced and closed the door to a Yankees Wild Card Game win.

 

It was the definition of a total team effort by the Yanks in this game and they look to carry that momentum with them versus the Indians in Game One of the ALDS.

 

Do you think the Yankees can win their ALDS series against the Indians? Let’s talk about it here or find me on Twitter @Phenombc3.