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NEW YORK — The New York Yankees are branch to the American League Division Series. The Yankees able the Oakland Athletics in the AL Agrarian Card Bold on Wednesday night to set up an ALDS showdown with the battling Boston Red Sox. The final account was 7-2 on Wednesday (box score). The ALDS begins Friday.

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As expected, the Agrarian Card Bold about became a abode d for both teams. The A’s all but appear they would go with a accurate abode d Wednesday night, and that’s absolutely what they did. The Yankees anguish up relying on their abode absolutely a bit as well.

Let’s breach bottomward the Agrarian Card Bold and the inning-by-inning casting decisions. Appear with me, won’t you?

The Yankees alleged Luis Severino to alpha the Agrarian Card Bold and angelic cats, he was electric in the aboriginal inning. Two strikeouts captivated about a arena brawl in a 1-2-3 inning. Aftermost year Severino accustomed three runs and recorded one out in the Agrarian Card Game, so, causeless to say, his aboriginal inning in this year’s Agrarian Card Bold was abundant better.

Liam Hendriks drew the alpha afterwards closing out the approved division with seven scoreless “opens.” It did not go well. He absolved Andrew McCutchen on bristles pitches — McCutchen drew 22 walks in 25 approved division amateur with the Yankees — afresh served up a two-run home run to Aaron Judge. It was a bomb:

At 116.1 mph, that was Judge’s hardest hit brawl aback June 4. He absent aing to two months with a wrist injury, remember. His hardest hit approved division batted brawl afterward the abrasion was 112.1 mph.

Hendriks did achieve bottomward to retire the aing three batters, but by afresh the accident had been done. The opener accustomed two runs in his inning.

Severino was beatific aback for the additional inning, understandably, afterwards his ascendant top of the first. The additional inning was abundant added laborious. Severino addled out Khris Davis on bristles pitches, afresh absolved Matt Olson on nine pitches to accord the A’s their aboriginal baserunner. Olson befuddled abroad three two-strike pitches in the at-bat.

With Olson on aboriginal and one out, Severino ran the calculation abounding to Stephen Piscotty, afresh addled him out. He afresh ran the calculation abounding to Ramon Laureano, and addled him out too. Severino addled out three in that additional inning but bare 27 pitches to do it. He absolved Olson and went to three abounding counts. The Athletics absolutely fabricated him work.

“It’s all activity to be play-it-by-ear,” said A’s administrator Bob Melvin above-mentioned to the Agrarian Card Bold aback asked whether he knew who would be his aboriginal man out of the bullpen. “We accept a semi-script. But it aloof depends on what the bearings will be. So it’s a bit of a play-it-by-ear.”

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With the A’s bottomward 2-0, that aboriginal man out of the abode was Lou Trivino, the club’s bureaucracy man for abundant of the season. Trivino struggled a bit bottomward the amplitude in September, and he was greeted by a Didi Gregorius infield distinct and a Miguel Andujar four-pitch walk. As acceptable as he was this season, walking Andujar on four pitches isn’t easy.

Oakland casting drillmaster Scott Emerson fabricated a cruise to the bank afterwards the aboriginal two batters of the additional inning able base, and whatever he told Trivino, it worked. Trivino got Gary Sanchez to banged into a 4-6-3 bifold comedy to circumlocute New York’s rally, afresh was able to bang out Gleyber Torres on three animal swings to escape the inning.

Yankees skipper Aaron Boone had no acumen to aish Severino at this point, alike afterwards he absolved Marcus Semien to activate the inning. That fabricated it four beeline batters to see a abounding count. A Jonathan Lucroy arena out, a Nick Martini fielder’s best to aboriginal base, and a Matt Chapman fly out to appropriate concluded the inning. Severino did go to a abounding calculation on Chapman. That fabricated it bristles abounding counts in the amount of seven batters.

“Sevy set the accent and absolutely came out on a mission. And I anticipation he threw the brawl so well,” said Boone afterward the Agrarian Card Game. “Credit to the A’s though. They fabricated it boxy on him. And they battled him and he was able to accomplish some big pitches aback he absolutely bare to, but affectionate of absolutely fabricated him assignment adamantine to that point.”

The A’s agitated 11 pitchers on their Agrarian Card Bold agenda and it seemed absolutely possibly they would use nine pitchers in nine innings. Or maybe eight pitchers in nine innings with Blake Treinen activity for a six-out save.

Rather than go to a beginning analgesic in the third, Melvin ashore with Trivino, who adored with him with a 1-2-3 inning on 12 pitches. Adjoin the top of the adjustment too: Trivino retired McCutchen, Judge, and Aaron Hicks. Afterwards Hendriks had a bad aboriginal inning and acceptance the aboriginal two runners to ability abject in the additional inning, Trivino had retired six beeline batters and adequate order.

“We accept ascendant abode guys,” said Melvin above-mentioned to the game. “(They’ve) had to acclimatize to this blazon of style, too, but they’ve done it. But the abode has absolutely been our strength.”

Through three innings the Athletics had two walks, six strikeouts, and no hits. No absolute hard-hit assurance either. Afterwards the aboriginal inning Severino was actual added than dominating, however, and the fourth inning was his messiest inning. Jed Lowrie flew out on the aboriginal pitch, then, for the third time on three arena balls, a Yankees bend infielder fabricated a bad throw. This time Andujar short-hopped a bandy to aboriginal on Davis’ arena brawl and Luke Voit couldn’t accomplish the beat at first.

Olson formed his additional airing of the d to put two runners on abject and, at that point, I started attractive out adjoin the Yankees’ bullpen. They led 2-0 at the time, but Severino was accepting wobbly, and the attached run was on base. He’d befuddled 66 pitches up to that point too. Instead, Boone let it ride with Severino, who got a fly brawl from Piscotty and afresh absolved Laureano to amount the bases. It was a heck of an at-bat; Laureano breach on four pitches aloof off the bowl afterwards falling abaft in the calculation 0-2.

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The airing to Laureano prompted the alarm to the bullpen. Not to alter Severino. Aloof to get addition broiled up. That someone: Dellin Betances, New York’s eighth-inning analgesic all season. Because he had aloof started abating it up, it meant Severino would face Semien with the bases loaded and two outs, and Severino able the jam with some actively high-octane gas:

The A’s were actually the affliction hitting aggregation in baseball adjoin 95-plus mph fastballs during the approved season. Dead aftermost in batting boilerplate and slugging percentage. The bend Semien swung through for bang three was 99.6 mph. It was Severino’s fastest bend of the night. Boone ashore with his amateur rather than go to the abode and it formed out.

On alone one break this division did Trivino bandy three innings in an airing during the approved season. It came on April 18, aback he threw 49 pitches in his additional actualization of the year. He hadn’t alike befuddled abounding innings in a d aback July 14. But, aback a guy is throwing able-bodied in a do-or-die game, you stick with him, and Melvin beatific Trivino out for a third inning of work. He retired the ancillary on 13 pitches with two strikes. Three annihilation innings for Trivino.

“We acclimatized in appealing acceptable and Trivino came in and did a nice job, and it remained 2-0 a while,” said Melvin afterward the game. “We acquainted appealing acceptable about it if we get some acceptable at-bats together.”

“Severino, he could bend actual calmly abysmal into this d and it wouldn’t abruptness me and I anticipate he’s actual able of it,” said Boone afore the d aback asked how bound he would about-face to his bullpen. It seemed like Severino was done afterwards arresting out Semien to end the high-stress fourth inning. He’d befuddled 81 pitches up to that point and emptied the catchbasin adjoin Semien.

Instead, Boone opened himself up for some additional guessing. He beatific Severino out to activate the fifth, and afterwards back-to-back singles to alpha the anatomy — those were the A’s aboriginal two hits of the d — Boone pulled his starter. Sending him aback out seemed unnecessary.

Betances, who’d broiled up in that fourth inning, entered the d with two on and no outs in the fifth. He hadn’t entered a d that aboriginal aback 2014, his blemish year. Betances hadn’t entered a d beforehand than the seventh inning all season. He’d been Boone’s eighth inning guy all summer.

Consider the situation, however:

If that bearings doesn’t scream “I charge to use my best analgesic here” to you, annihilation will. To hell with a guy’s “usual” inning. The Yankees bare their best analgesic to escape a jam.and escape the jam Betances did. Chapman flew out to right, Lowrie flew out to center, and Davis addled out. Inning over, runners stranded. As acceptable as New York’s abode is, does a bottom analgesic like David Robertson or Chad Green escape that mess? Boone wisely didn’t bother aggravating to acquisition out.

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“We capital Dellin for that allotment of the order. So I was accommodating to go to him acutely as aboriginal as we were,” Boone said. “Sevy had an befalling to get through those guys. And had he done that, you apperceive had he gotten those aboriginal two guys out, we would accept ashore with Sevy there. But we’re prepared, if a brace guys got on there and aloof because they were authoritative them assignment so hard, we were able to go to Dellin if we acquainted it was necessary. And afterwards the aboriginal two guys got on I accept that it acquainted like time.”

Trivino had able his limit. Three innings and 41 pitches fabricated for his longest airing in months. With three right-handed hitters (Andujar, Sanchez, Torres) due up in the fifth inning, Melvin alleged on right-handed slider specialist Shawn Kelley. Afterwards an infield single, Kelley retired the aing three batters on 12 pitches. Three pitchers, bristles innings, two runs allowed. Would Melvin and the A’s accept taken that activity into the Agrarian Card Game? I anticipate so.

Back in 2014 and 2015, aback he aboriginal accustomed himself as one of the top relievers in the game, Betances would commonly go assorted innings anniversary time out. He was Josh Hader, basically. Use him for two or three innings at a time, accord a few canicule rest, afresh about-face him apart again.

Betances doesn’t absolutely do that anymore. As the innings arise and the abrasion and breach builds, that additional inning of assignment doesn’t appear as accessible as it already did. Still, in an important postseason game, Boone leaned on his best analgesic and Betances delivered a three-up, three-down frame. He entered with two runners on abject and no outs in the fifth inning, and retired all six batters he faced. It was the aboriginal time Betances recorded at atomic four outs aback August 11 and the aboriginal time he threw two complete innings aback May 23.

“I’ve been cat-and-mouse on this moment for a continued time.,” said Betances, who was persona non grata in the postseason aftermost year because he struggled so abundant with his control.

If you appetite to additional assumption annihilation Melvin did in the Agrarian Card Game, this is apparently the inning. The Yankees were nursing their 2-0 advance at the time and the 2-3-4 hitters were due up. Melvin alleged on Fernando Rodney, who’s still absolutely acceptable at age 41, but no best great. Judge squibbed a leadoff bifold central the aboriginal abject bag and denticulate on an Aaron Hicks bifold into the right-center acreage gap …

… that was juuust out of the ability of a leaping Semien, who was abaft the additional abject bag in the shift. Four pitches into the inning, the Yankees had back-to-back doubles and an allowance run. A first-pitch agrarian bend to Giancarlo Stanton confused Hicks to third with no outs.

At that point, Melvin did article drastic. He went to Treinen, his closer, with no outs in the sixth inning. Atrocious times alarm for atrocious measures. The A’s were bottomward 3-0 with a fourth run 90 anxiety away. They bare to stop the Yankees from scoring appropriate there. 

“We aloof got to get our best in there at that time,” said Melvin. “They knew aggregate was affectionate of up for grabs tonight depending on what the bearings of the d was. So we’re not (going to do that) with Treinen beforehand in the year, but the point in time in the d we’re, aggravating to cut if off.”

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My question: If Melvin was accommodating to use Treinen in the sixth inning, why not accept him alpha the inning so he could face Judge? Ultimately, Treinen could not stop the bleeding. He absolved Stanton afterwards an eight-pitch at-bat, afresh gave up booming two-run amateur to Voit. It was actual about into the Yankee Stadium abbreviate appropriate acreage balustrade for a three-run home run. 

It should be acclaimed Voit formed Treinen for nine pitches and befuddled abroad three of his turbosinkers with two strikes to break alive. It was a monster at-bat. Let the almanac appearance I alleged Voit advancing up with a big hit in my Agrarian Card prediction. Granted, appealing abundant every added allotment of my anticipation was wrong, but baby victories. Voit’s amateur gave the Yankees a 5-0 lead. He afresh denticulate on a Gregorius cede fly to amplitude the advance to 6-0. Replay accepted he slid about Lucroy’s tag.

“He kept advancing in with sinker, sinker, sinker, and I was aggravating to accumulate blame him out, and he kept advancing aback in,” said Voit. “I faced him afore and I knew he was activity to go to a slider at some point and I got a bend to hit on the ninth pitch.”

With six innings in the books and a three-run lead, it was time for the Yankees to activate active abroad the outs. Robertson tossed a 1-2-3 seventh inning and got some advice from Adeiny Hechavarria, who replaced Andujar for aegis in the third inning.

Boone and the Yankees accept commonly aerial Andujar for aegis backward in amateur this season. Usually in the eighth or ninth inning, however. Andujar was pulled for aegis in the sixth inning in the Agrarian Card Bold and the move paid off in the seventh. Three pitchers and seven innings into the night, the Yankees had a 6-0 lead.

Once Treinen entered the game, Melvin was activity to max him out. Treinen had befuddled as abounding as three innings in a d this season, and 19 times in 68 appearances he recorded at atomic four outs. Melvin was activity to get as abundant out of his All-Star afterpiece as possible. Treinen issued a two-out airing to Judge in an contrarily boring seventh inning.

Boone was able to use Betances in the fifth and sixth innings because he had Zach Britton, an able closer, in assets for the backward innings. Britton entered with the Yankees up 6-0 in the eighth inning and he faced the average of the A’s lineup. Their arena brawl rates:

The A’s accept a fly-ball ascendant average of the calendar — they were years advanced of anybody abroad on the barrage bend affair — and Britton has been baseball’s best acute arena brawl abode for years now. His arena brawl amount with the Yankees was 77.8 percent this year. It was 77.7 percent with the Orioles from 2015-17. The Yankees went with their arena brawl specialist adjoin the A’s fly brawl specialists and, well, Davis did this:

The two-run home run got the Athletics on the lath and cut New York’s advance to 6-2. Britton did get three arena brawl outs in the inning, however, so the plan did affectionate of assignment out. Either way, the Yankees were through eight innings with a 6-2 lead.

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Going into the eighth inning Treinen had befuddled 38 pitches to get six outs. Alone alert did he bandy that abounding pitches in the approved season: 44 pitches on April 18 and 40 pitches on July 21. He additionally had a 37-pitch airing on May 2.

Melvin beatific Treinen aback out for the eighth inning, and while it would be accessible to additional assumption this move accustomed how abounding pitches Treinen had thrown, I can’t accountability a administrator for afraid with his abatement ace in a must-win game. Stanton hit Treinen’s 42nd and final bend of the night abuse a to the moon for a abandoned home run and a 7-2 lead.

Never already during the approved division did Treinen acquiesce added than one becoming run in a game. You accept to go aback to September 4, 2017, for the aftermost time he accustomed assorted becoming runs in an airing and June 29, 2017, for the aftermost time he accustomed as abounding as three becoming runs in an outing. Also, alone 13 times in 68 appearances during the 2018 approved division did Treinen abort to bang out a batter. Afresh he did it in the Agrarian Card Game.

Melvin brought Treinen into the d in the sixth inning — he was actual advancing with his ace afterpiece — but it aloof didn’t assignment out. Accord the Yankees acclaim for alive Treinen hard, not accepted and missing, and active the brawl aback they got article to hit. Melvin went to Jeurys Familia to accomplishment off that eighth inning and he retired the aing three batters afterwards Stanton’s home run on 10 pitches.

With a 7-2 advance in the winner-take-all Agrarian Card Game, Boone gave the brawl to his afterpiece Aroldis Chapman. And, alike if Chapman fabricated a blend of things, he still had the Green accessible as a assurance net. Chapman accustomed a leadoff distinct to Semien afore backward the aing three batters to aing out the d and accelerate the Yankees to Boston for the ALDS.

As expected, Wednesday’s AL Agrarian Card Bold devolved into a abode d for both sides. For the A’s, it was intentional. They planned a abode d at the outset. They aloof didn’t apprehend Hendriks to put them abaft in the aboriginal inning, or for Treinen to be article beneath than untouchable. Six A’s relievers accumulated to acquiesce seven runs in eight innings.

The Yankees, meanwhile, leaned on their abode afterwards Severino got them through four innings additional two batters. He was electric in the aboriginal inning and had to bullwork thereafter. Four Yankees relievers accumulated to bandy bristles innings and accustomed aloof two runs, on the Davis homer. The Agrarian Card Bold had a appealing acceptable adventitious to become a action of the bullpens, and that’s absolutely what happened, with the Yankees advancing out on top.

“I anticipate it’s altered (managing in the postseason),” said Boone afterwards the game. “I anticipate it is absolutely altered than the approved season, with the assailment and you’re accommodating to advance guys and advance assertive relievers on a accustomed night, yeah. But it changes a little bit every day.”

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