Yankees Go Yard Twice to Beat A's, 7-2
The concept of "The Opener" backfired. Instead of a starting pitcher fresh for a four-to-six inning pitch count, the A's started Liam Hendriks, not as a starter, but as an opener. The Yankees defeated them in the Wild Card, 7-2.
Yard Shot 1
Hendriks was the first Australian-born pitcher ever to start an MLB playoff game (if you call what he did "starting"). He got pulled after one inning for walking Andrew McCutcheon to start the rotation, then letting Aaron Judge pounce on a fastball and take him to deep left. It was 2-0 Yankees in the 1st inning with no outs.
A Buttery Bullpen
After four scoreless innings (2 through 5), the Yankees had a five-hit, four-run 6th inning where they were churning through A's pitchers like butter. Shawn Kelly, Fernando Rodney and Blake Treinen were all need to get out of the inning. Rodney stepped in to face two batters, give up two hits and two runs, then exit stage left. Treinen closed the inning, then pitched until the 8th...
Yard Shot 2
And that's when Giancarlo Stanton hit a moonshot to the upper deck in left field -- the exclamation point on an all-Yankees evening. Judge, Stanton and Luke Voit combined for four hits, five runs, and five RBIs.
Here we go! With the win, the Yankees and Red Sox will meet in the ALDS (starts Friday at 7:32 pm ET).