Well, you know what today is. Today is the day we find out for what reason this entire season was for naught. Hear me out; no matter what happens tonight, the whole frustrating 2021 campaign will be left behind. Either the Yankees will lose the AL Wild Card Game to Boston, and the brutal struggle they endured just to secure 92 wins and the second Wild Card will have been in vain. Or, the Yankees will win, they’ll safely advance to the postseason proper with a chance to actually win the World Series, and the slog the team fought through just to get to the play-in game will be rendered irrelevant, a relic of the past. The records reset, and the real tournament begins.
Those are the stakes tonight. It’s Yankees vs. Red Sox to determine who faces the top-seeded Rays in the ALDS, to determine who survives to see a longer series. No, this may not be the matchup fans outside of the New York and Boston metro areas were looking for, but it’s still one riddled with intrigue. Two pitchers, once known more for their potential than their performance, both at the top of their games. Two lineups littered with stars, Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, and Anthony Rizzo on one side, Rafael Devers, Xander Bogaerts, and Kyle Schwarber on the other. Fenway Park providing an iconic (and hostile) backdrop.
It’s sure to be quite a night. Ahead of the game, we’ve got lots to tide you over on the site. There’s a new Wild Card preview episode of the PSA podcast and Erin goes through Gerrit Cole’s past to see how the right-hander has fared in previous do-or-die playoff starts, while Jesse analyzes what Nathan Eovaldi has done in his outings against the Yankees this year. Esteban will also review the Yankees’ history with the Wild Card Game, and Emma will look at why the Yankees should keep a shorter leash than usual with Cole tonight, as hard is it may be to pry the ball out his hands when it comes time.
New York Yankees vs. Boston Red Sox
Time: 8:08 p.m. EST
TV: ESPN (A-Rod & Vasgergian), ESPN2 (Statcast broadcast)
Radio: WFAN 660/101.9 FM, WADO 1280
Venue: Fenway Park
1. Does Cole shake off his last few iffy starts and shove tonight like the ace we know he is?
2. Do the Yankees chase Eovaldi early tonight, like they did when they faced him a couple weeks ago?