Oakland A's to start Liam Hendriks in wild card game

Tanya Simon
October 7, 2018

And yet for all the billions in salary they've spent and all the stars they've grown and imported, the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox have not faced one another in the playoffs since Boston overcame a three-games-to-none deficit almost a decade and a half ago.

That's the word from Yankees manager Aaron Boone. The victor gets the Boston Red Sox (108-54) in a five-game series beginning on Friday.

J.A. Happ was scheduled to face Chris Sale in Game 1, with Masahiro Tanaka starting Game 2 for NY against David Price.

"We're a team that can play with anybody, and we're not afraid to go in there", Yankees center fielder Aaron Hicks said after a 7-2 wild-card win over Oakland sent NY to a best-of-five AL Division Series that starts Friday in Fenway Park.

Unfortunately, Oakland's bats went quiet at the wrong time, producing just two hits through the first seven scoreless innings.

They both rank in the top five in bullpen ERA as Oakland relievers have pitched to a 3.37 ERA, while the Yankees are just behind at 3.38. If the A's win this game, they could be a force to reckon with. With superstars like Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, and Andrew McCutchen, (that is only naming a few) and the A's with nearly no one a casual fan could name. The Red Sox went on to win their first World Series since 1918, but Boone's drive off Tim Wakefield has not been forgotten or forgiven.

The one-game wild-card game often gets referred to as a cage match where teams will do anything to win.

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Severino left last year's wild-card game trailing 3-0 after allowing four hits and a walk. Game 1 is Friday at Fenway Park.

Boston had a historic season, blowing past NY in the AL East race thanks to a franchise-record 108 wins.

"I just want to win", Severino said Tuesday.

Boston player-manager Joe Cronin and NY outfielder Jake Powell fought on the field and beneath the Yankee Stadium stands in 1938, and Jimmy Piersall of the Red Sox and Billy Martin of the Yankees brawled beneath Fenway Park's stands in 1952. Davis hit a two-run homer off Zach Britton in the eighth, and Aroldis Chapman finished the five-hitter.

But Hendriks found some support on social media despite the horror-show start to the game and the unconventional "opener" tactic seemingly backfiring. He made a career-high 32 starts in 2018, his second straight season as an All-Star.

"It's not the ideal situation", catcher Jonathan Lucroy acknowledged. This time the Yanks relied on the long-ball. And by the time David Robertson succeeded Betances to start the seventh inning, he enjoyed the benefit of a 6-0 cushion. "I believe he threw his most recent side on Sunday, and we feel like physically he's been sound all year, so hopefully the extra couple days of rest is something that's beneficial, and shines through". I feel like we're in a good place as a club, and hopefully we'll go out and put our best foot forward and take care of business and move on.

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