Thanks to their power bats, the Yankees punched their ticket to the ALDS with a 7-2 over the Athletics in the AL Wild Card Game at Yankee Stadium on Wednedsay night. >> Box score
1) Aaron Judge started the game on a high note with a two-run jack to left field in the bottom of the first. The ball had a 116-mph exit velocity as it found its way to the bleachers.
2) The Yankees had a power-packed sixth inning to pull away. Aaron Hicks doubled home Judge, and after a walk to Giancarlo Stanton, Luke Voit hit a two-run triple to right field to make it 5-0. Then, after a challenge, Voit was deemed safe on a Didi Gregorius sac fly to add another run.
3) Luis Severino redeemed himself from last season's Wild Card Game with four scoreless innings, where he allowed just two hits while striking out seven. He did find himself in a couple binds with walks and an error allowing some A's on base. But he got out of his jams, including a bases-loaded one in the fourth. Dellin Betances also saved his line with stellar pitching after inheriting two runners on with no outs in the fifth.
4) Zach Britton allowed the only A's runs after Khris Davis hit a two-run homer to right field in the top of the eighth. But Giancarlo Stanton got one of them back with a solo moonshot that stayed fair down the left-field line.
5) Aroldis Chapman closed it out with a five-run lead to send the Yankees to the ALDS against the Red Sox. The first game is on Friday at 7:32 p.m. from Fenway Park.
One team used its bullpen throughout and the other pitched more traditionally. Convention won out tonight.
The Yankees set the tone early with Judge's home run and used a four-run sixth inning to seal the deal. However, the pitching was the story in the victory.
Severino, while erratic at times, was equally electric in keeping the Athletics off the board. His performance was not perfect, but it was a heck of a lot better than his three-run, one-out performance in last year's Wild Card Game. The Yankees going to Severino could have been viewed as a chance for redemption and in comparison that's exactly what occurred.
As Severino gained some redemption, we can call Betances' performance a revival. Last October, the Yankees would not let Betances anywhere near the mound. On Wednesday night, he was tremendous when the Yankees faced a two-on, nobody-out jam in the fifth inning and then made the A's look silly in the sixth inning. If he's on his game there are few relievers as difficult to hit and bodes well for New York's postseason aspirations.
Highlights from Thursday's game
The Yankees travel to Boston to face the Red Sox in Game 1 of the American League Divisional Series on Friday night at 7:32 p.m.