Sunday, 22 October, 2017

One big question mark hangs over Twins' wild-card lineup

The Orioles fan's rooting guide for American League playoff teams Tom Petty's Guide to Indians Fans' Rooting Interest in the Wildcard Game: Yankees or Twins?
Noah Ferguson | 04 October, 2017, 00:49

After a remarkable regular season that saw the Twins win 85 games and secure a playoff berth, Minnesota heads to NY to once again attempt to vanquish the Yankees in the playoffs.

Severino isn't the only one making his playoff debut for NY.

Regardless of your stance on the one-game, winner-take-all Wild Card Game system that pits the top two non-divisional winners against each other for a chance to move on to the Divisional Series, the New York Yankees and Minnesota Twins seasons come down to nine innings on Tuesday night.

So what the Indians are hoping for is a Twins victory, but if they can't get a Twins victory - and they probably can't, if we're being frank - they'll settle for a Yankees victory with caveats.

The 23-year-old righthander, who made his first All-Star team, allowed no more than one run in an MLB-best 16 of his 31 starts.

And they are an offensive machine, too. The two teams split the first pair of games, then on Sunday the Twins won 5-1. Only Houston scored more. And why not? Nobody outside the organization expected them to get his after, and anything can happen in one game. Twins starter Ervin Santana is 34, and hasn't been in the playoffs since 2004. "There are butterflies, but once the first pitch it thrown, you focus on all the normal stuff of playing a game".

Kennys Vargas or Robbie Grossman likely will be the DH in Tuesday night's game. "It gives me more confidence to go out for my team". "Both of those games were intense, some of the coolest moments I've ever experienced", Cuddyer said.

MLB Commissioner Bud Selig created a three-division format for each league in 1995, with the best second-place team also qualifying for the playoffs. But more recently, the Yanks scratched out a 2-1 victory against Santana on September 18 in the Bronx. I think we're going to play a good game. "And so we look forward to the season being extended as long as possible".

"OK, well, tomorrow will be one", Santana said when asked about his prior appearances in the Bronx by ESPN's Buster Olney.

In his first full Major League Baseball season, Judge is already conditioned in the Yankees' October-or-bust reality.

That's probably the best 'pen in baseball, and if Girardi wanted to, he could essentially make the entire game a bullpen game, pulling Severino after a couple of innings.

Luis Severino will be taking the mound for the Yankees on Tuesday in his postseason debut, but like the rest his teammates, he's not feeling the pressure.

"I feel good, I feel healthy", Sanchez said through an interpreter.

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