Yanks Best Twins In Possible Wild Card Preview • Latino Sports


Yanks Best Twins In Possible Wild Card Preview


Bronx, NY – Yankee Stadium could be the scene of an American League wild card game in two weeks and Monday night in the Bronx there was that possible matchup of the Yankees and Minnesota Twins the teams that could be there. The Yankees are comfortable as the top wild card team and the Twins with 12 games to play are within reach.

What made this first of three more interesting was how manager Joe Girardi set up the starting rotation for this three-game series.  Luis Severino, the ace was bypassed and it had nothing to do with an extra day of rest and it is obvious the Yankees did not want the Twins to get aq possible look at Severino who would get the start in that wild card one game elimination.

Instead, lefthander Jaime Garcia got the start for New York and had his best start as a Yankee. He tied a season high in strikeouts with nine, tossed 5.2 innings and took the no-decision in the Yankees 2-1 win.

“His curveball and slider kept them off balance,” Girardi said about Garcia. Even though this seventh start for the Yankees  was his best, Garcia is still winless in pinstripes.  The Yankees were 0-for-12 with runners in scoring position and got their first with an Aaron Judge first inning home run, his AL leading 44th of the season.

It was that September game in the Bronx with a playoff atmosphere. Garcia had the Twins off balance and Minnesota starter Ervin Santana took the loss, his first since July 21st against the Tigers which snapped a career long 10-start undefeated streak.

“Fastball,” he said about the Judge home run off a 2-1 pitch that went into the right field seats. “He’s a fastball hitter.”

Santana, who has limited success at Yankee Stadium would probably get the start if the Twins and Yankees do meet in a wild card matchup, which made this opening game of this series thatg more interesting. The Twins with the loss fell fell five games behind the Yankees in the wild card race.

“Nort changing anything next time,” said Santana when asked about how to get around Judge and the Yankees. And with the exception of that long ball from Judge, Santana was able to keep the Yankees at bay. The other run came in the Yankees sixth on a sacrifice fly from Todd Frazier in a Twins rally that started with a wild pitch from Santana that moved the runners over.

And if a wildcard game came down to the bullpens that would make for another interesting element. With Garcia and Santana out of the game, the Yankees prevailed but it was not easy. Dellin Betances could not spot his pitches and Chapman had to come in and got tghe five batters he faced for his 19th save,

“Yanked too many pitches,” said Betances. Could not get a good feel and I have to get better.” Girardi said they will look at the video again and try and get Betances right. Because is that important component out of the pen with Chapman and david Robertson.

But on this night an early home run was huge for the Yankees. Every game is huge down in these final 12 and if the division can’t be won, well this week in the Bronx the Yankees and Twisn will be giving an indication as to who goes to the Al wild card.

About Rich Mancuso

Established sports journalist and educator. Contact Rich at [email protected]

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