The Yankees are going to the playoffs! Whether the AL Wild Card Game will take place in the Bronx or in Oakland remains to be seen, but we know that the Bombers will definitely be participating in the one-game playoff. Flying across the country to face the Athletics is less than ideal, so the Yankees have set their sights on doing whatever it takes to win home field advantage during the last week of the regular season.
The Yankees already finish the season on the road, with trips to Tampa and Boston. Yankees GM Brian Cashman said the following about the Wild Card Game:
“...you’d rather have the short trip back to New York and then you’re dreaming big things, and if you can find a way to get past that cage match, then you’ve got a quick trip thereafter. You’re just making life harder for yourselves if you have to do the alternative [play in Oakland]. We’re fighting for a wild card and hopefully a wild card with home field.”
If the Bombers win against the Athletics, they’d move on to play the Red Sox in the ALDS since the Wild Card winner has to play the team with the best record. However, Cashman indicated that the Yankees won’t choose their starting pitcher with the ALDS in mind.
“We’re going to pick the best person to try to win that game. We will pick whoever is best qualified at that time, regardless of that other series...It’s all hands on deck for that last game, to find a way to survive it.”
It sounds like the Yankees will go with whoever has the best outing during this last week of play, whether that’s Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, or J.A. Happ.
One thing that isn’t a question is who the starting catcher will be. Cashman clarified that Gary Sanchez will be the team’s starter during the postseason. The catcher struggled before his lengthy DL stint, and hasn’t set the world on fire since returning, but they believe in his potential.
“We’re betting on him. We’re doubling down and tripling down on Gary Sánchez because we know the ceiling that is there and the capabilities this player has on both sides of the ball.”
Hopefully Sanchez’s bat will wake up during the next week! The Yankees need the offense to hit to its potential during the do-or-die game if they have any chance of making a deep playoff run.
Who do you think should start the Wild Card Game? Let us know in the comments.