NY Yankees ace Luis Severino was pulled in the first inning of the A.L. wild card game last night after giving up three runs to the Minnesota Twins, but the Yankee offense had a pretty quick answer for that and by the end of the night, any home crowd Bronx anxiety was replaced by jubilation with an 8-4 Yankees win.
Manager Joe Girardi wasted no time giving Severino the hook after his rough first inning but the Yankee bullpen was up to the long haul task, with Chad Green, David Robertson, Tommy Kahnle and Aroldis Chapman combining for 8 2/3 innings of one-run, five-hit relief, while striking out thirteen, which ties a major league bullpen playoff record.
On offense, all it took to tie the game after Minnesota's three run first was a three run bomb by short stop Didi Gregorius, who electrified the Stadium crowd and helped chase Twins starter Ervin Santana, who was gone by the second. Aaron Judge, as I predicted, also went yard for the Yankees, although with his late season home run stroke returning in earnest calling a home run by Judge is about as bold as predicting political attack ads will appear on television in an election year. Brett Gardner also went yard, and Greg Bird's RBI single in the third gave the Yankees a lead they would not relinquish.
So the Yankees move on the division series, although a much tougher test awaits them now in Cleveland, where they'll take on the high-powered Indians starting Thursday night. Terry Francona's club set an American League record this season with 22 consecutive victories, and really don't have a weakness on either side of the ball. They also have a determination to get back to the World Series, which they lost in heartbreaking fashion last year to the Chicago Cuns in a seven game thriller. Masahiro Tanaka starts for the Yankees Thursday against Trevor Bauer for Cleveland.
The National League wild card game is tonight with the Arizona Diamondbacks hosting the Colorado Rockies. I'm going with the D-Backs in this one.
If ice and a puck and pass, shoot, score is more your bag, the new season of the National Hockey League kicks off tonight with four games on tap. The Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens are not among that quartet but will start skating for games that count for real beginning tomorrow night.
In women's college soccer the Saint Michael's Purple Knights lost a 2-0 Northeast 10 Conference game to the College of Saint Rose at Duffy Field yesterday. The loss drops the Purple Knights a game under .500 at 3-4-1 on the season.
The Middlebury Panthers beat RPI 3-1 with all three goals coming in the second half. Eliza Van Voorhis and Eliza Robinson put the Panthers ahead 2-Nil before RPI made it a one-goal game and then Sabrina Glaser got an insurance goal for Middlebury in the 75th minute to improve the Panthers to 6-3-1 on the season.
In Northfield, the Norwich Cadets won for just the second time this season, but they won big, routing Newbury 8-0. Freshman Sydney Rocheville scored twice and added an assist for a five-point night to lead the offense as the Cadets get their second win against eight losses so far.
In men’s college soccer UMass edged the University of Vermont 2-1 on two late goals at Virtue Field. Trevor Colazzo got the Catamounts on the board first with his first collegiate goal, but the Minutemen needed just a three minute span to spoil the upset bid with two goals, the first in the 77th minute by Davis Smith, and then a 20-yard free kick in the the 80th minute by Alex DeSantis hooked into the top left corner of the net for the game winner. UVM drops to 6-5 with the loss while UMass improves to 7-2-2.
Elsewhere Lyndon State beat Southern Vermont 2-1 also on a late strike. Abukar Hassan tied the game at one for the Hornets after Southern Vermont scored first, and the game winner was netted in the 80th minute on a goal by William Martin as the Hornets see their record improve tom 5-3-1.
In college field hockey Middlebury shut out RPI 3-0 with all three scores coming in the first half off the sticks of Lauren Schweppe, Danielle Brown, and Grace Jennings, and the Panthers strong season continues with a 7-2 record after the win.
In men's college golf the St. Michael's Purple Knights placed seventh at the Northeast-10 Conference Championship at Lake Sunapee Country Club, with all five golfers for the first time breaking 80 at an NE-10 Championship.