Tonight is the much anticipated Wild Card Game at Yankee Stadium for the 2018 New York Yankees. New York went the traditional route and are starting their “ace” Luis Severino. As mentioned previously I would have “bullpened” this game. I can’t really fault the decision though. Severino is the Yanks most talented pitcher, and part of the nucleus of the franchise. He has true ace “stuff”, and is the starter most capable of dominating his opponent. I am just nervous about his mental toughness based on his rocky 2nd half, and his start in last year’s Wild Card Game against the Twins.
I just feel weird about this team. I have all year. All facets of the game have rarely clicked at once in the 2nd half of the season. The starter pitches well, the offense doesn’t score runs. The starter gets blown out, then the offense battles but comes up short. Annoyingly there are games a lot of games like last Friday in Boston where they shoot out to a big lead, and the bullpen(the strength of the team) struggles. There are a few really unlikable aspects of this club. I just don’t know what to expect tonight.
This game sets them whole tone for the entire MLB Post Season really. The Cubs(many thought the NL favorites) have been eliminated after a really Cub-esque choke. The media is fawning all over the A’s and deservedly so. They have truly had an amazing year. They started the season with one of the lowest payrolls in the game. As they have continued to play well they have added pieces. They hit dingers, catch the ball, and their pen lead by Blake Treinen is awesome! But after a game like tonight can you really take them seriously in a 5 or 7 game series without a legitimate starting pitcher? Once Sean Manaea went down for the season I really haven’t. You cannot “bullpen” your way through a long series in my opinion. The Yankees are that monster no one(Not even the defending champion Astros) wants to see in a long series. You know the Red Sox are rooting hard for Oakland because with Chris Sale not right they can still beat Oakland and buy Sale time to improve.
Tonight could be franchise altering if the Yanks lose. Brian Cashman will definitely be the fall guy(although twitter will blame Boone) for starting Severino instead of JA Happ. The roster is going to be really different if Oakland wins tonight. By staying under the $189 million luxury tax threshold the Yankees are ready for the hyped 2019 free agent class. Will a loss tonight cause them to go “Old School Yankees” and spend like drunken sailors? If they win and make a long run will they choose not to try and improve the team significantly? It is literally like watching a baseball version of the Superbowl. So much is going to happen based on this one game. So much is at stake. Maybe I am the eternal pessimist I just don’t feel confident for some reason in the 2018 Yanks I hope I am back here tomorrow telling you I was wrong.