For the Yankees, next Stop Boston; NLDS Starts Today in Milwaukee and Los Angeles

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Hi all. Here’s how I see baseball on this Thursday, October 4.
It seems that only in October the lesser Yankee Stadium rocks like the real House that Ruth Built. I’ve followed the team all season long and never until last night did I hear anything like the noise level that shook the Bronx as the Yankees soundly defeated Oakland 7–2. I had my doubts about starting Luis Severino, and in fact he didn’t last the requisite 5 innings to get the win. To his credit, He kept the A’s off the board while the Yankees established an early lead. After Dellin Betances put out the fire in the 5th, the Yankees stomped any hope Oakland brought into the game out of existence with 4 runs in the last of the 6th.
Last year, Luis Severino got the start in the wild card game against the Twins and lasted all of 1/3 of an inning. This time he set Oakland down in order. In the home half, Andrew McCutchen walked, after which Aaron Judge did what Aaron Judge does. He launched a two-run shot into the distant reaches of the bleachers. Last year, Judge’s second half and postseason were ruined by his performance in the misbegotten Home Run Derby. This year it was a wrist injury that threatened his success and the Yankees’ survival in October. He didn’t look like an injured man when he crushed Liam Hendriks’ 2-1 pitch out of sight. Meantime, Severino struck out 5 of the first 7 Oakland hitters he saw and didn’t give up a hit until the fifth. With the score just 2–0 and 2 men on, Dellin Betances took Severino’s place on the hill and left the runners where they stood. The Yankees removed all doubt who would be heading for Boston in the 6th inning. Instead of going with a starter, Oakland used their bull pen throughout. After Hendriks gave up two in the first, Lou Trivino and Shawn Kelly kept the Yankee bats quiet through the fifth. The strategy came back to bite the A’s in the sixth. Judge started the inning with a double down the right field line off Fernando Rodney. Aaron Hicks, hitting in the third spot in the order doubled him home, then took third on a wild pitch. That was all for Rodney who was replaced by Oakland’s usual closer Blake Treinen. Giancarlo Stanton walked, then stole second. Luke Voit then stepped to the plate. Until this past July He had been a nobody playing for the Cardinals who were going nowhere. Since his trade to the Yankees he had put up 14 home runs and moved Greg Bird off first base. Voit had some 49,000 cheering for him as he tripled two runs home to make it 5–0. Moments later, a scoring fly ball off the bat of Didi Gregorius brought Voit home. Though Oakland put up two runs in the 8th, Stanton took one out of the lot in the home half for the final margin of victory. With the win, the Yankees now have J.A. Happ available to open the division series in Boston tomorrow evening.
The National League will see their two Division Series open later today. The early game, starting just after 5 PM Eastern has the Rockies facing the Brewers in Milwaukee. The Rockies turn to Antonio Senzatela, who made his MLB debut against the Brewers in April, 2017 and hasn’t faced them since. As a kid of 19 he put up a 15–2 record with the 2014 Asheville Tourists who ultimately won the South Atlantic League title. Asheville is up in the mountains and their home, McCormick Field is a small ball park in the bargain. Pitching there is good training if a Tourist should end up at Coors Canaveral, as Senzatela did. Needing starters for both Monday and Tuesday left the Brewers without a fresh arm to open the series today. As a result, Brandon Woodruff will be the reliever called on to start. He made 21 starts during the season but only 4 at the big league level.
Later, at 8:30 PM the Braves open their series against the Dodgers in Los Angeles. With the most rested staff of any NL contender, the Braves turn to Mike Foltynewicz. As brutal as the team was the last few years, it’s hard to imagine they were a playoff team as recently as 2013. The Dodgers, who won their sixth straight NL West on Monday turn to Hyun-Jin Ryu, leaving Clayton Kershaw for tomorrow. That says a lot about the amount of time Kershaw has spent on the DL the last 3 seasons. Ryu has been on a hot streak, pitching to a 1.88 ERA since he came off the shelf in mid-August.

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