Yanks Clinch home field for Wild Card Game

Yanks Clinch home field for Wild Card Game

A historic night in Fenway Park was capped off with the New York Yankees clinching home field advantage for the single-elimination Wild Card Game coming up this Wednesday night.

The end of last nights game surely had Yankee fans holding their breath, as defensive mistakes gave the Red Sox hope of a bottom of the 9th come-back. The Yankees, however controlled the Sox for most of the game on both sides of the ball. With J.A Happ pitching a solid 5 innings, only having to be pulled out in the 6th, along with: Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez, Aaron Hicks, and the living legend Luke Voit all hitting homers -making the 2018 New York Yankees tied with the 1997 Seattle Mariners for most HRs in a single season. (They have since broken that record).

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Miguel Andujar also had a historic night, as he tied a Yankee record set by Joe Dimaggio, for doubles in a rookie season.

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With the Yankees now hosting the always drama filled Wild Card game, the question now becomes who will be their starting pitcher, as well as who would be their starting catcher. For a while, the general consensus was that three candidates who were up for the job were: Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, and the newest Yankee pitcher J.A. Happ. However, with the bad memories of last years Wild Card start with Severino and a not so great outing from Tanaka the other night, makes Happ seems like the best and safest pick.

Happ has been a game changer for the Yankees, as he currently sits with a 7-0 record in 11 starts with 2.69 Avg. The Yankees might not be in the playoffs if it wasn’t for his stellar performances. While Happ is most likely the best pick, the downside is that he will then not be available in the first half of the ALDS. A risk the Yankees might be willing to take.

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Next, the Yankees will have to make their choice when it comes to who will be sitting behind the dish for the sudden death playoff game. No one a year ago would have thought that in late september this would even be a question, however with Sanchez’s defensive problems and a .186 avg on the year, fans are skeptical about putting Sanchez out there. While those numbers don’t look attractive, one number does is 18, his HR count. While others have certainly surpassed him on the team, that number means that Sanchez is still a threat at the plate. Additionally he has a decent SLG at .442 over his last 15 games.

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Austin Romine would be the next option, as his defense and pitch-calling abilities have almost never been called into question. However, while he had a solid first half of the season, over exposure has shown holes in his bat.

With that, it’s safe to say that the duo of Happ and Sanchez will be made official before we know it. The Yankees will look to hold off on announcing anything until the last possible minute however, as they will look for any advantage they can gain over a very young and very game Oakland A’s squad.

 

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Photo Credits: CBS Sports, Times Union, River Ave Blues.

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