Listen Are the Twins welcome in NY?
"This is the regular season now".
The loser of tonight's game is eliminated. Regardless of what people thought of the Twins, they are here now and ready to make a stand. Minnesota won 85 games and earned their right to be here.
Hildenberger has turned in 42 innings for the Twins this year and holds a 3.21 ERA. But he recognizes - he has experienced, actually - the flip side of the one-game format.
What do the Cleveland Indians want to see happen Tuesday night?
That game had longer-lasting implications than anyone may have realized at the time, too.
The 6-foot-7 Judge set a rookie record with 52 homers this year and has become the new face of the franchise.
If Santana struggles early, it's all hands on deck for Twins' pitching. The Yankees will carry 10 pitchers for the do-or-die contest. Ervin Santana was brilliant in anchoring the Twins starting rotation, going 16-8 with a 3.21 ERA while leading the major leagues in complete games with five and shutouts with three.
NY counters with Luis Severino, who is 14-6 with a 2.98 ERA. He throws hard and has nasty off-speed pitches. A big key was a renewed focus on fundamentals.
The Yankees have a trio of All-Stars at the back of their bullpen in Aroldis Chapman, Dellin Betances and David Robertson, plus two of baseball's best middle relievers in Chad Green and Tommy Kahnle. Not often are the Yankees a surprise victor, but this group already has exceeded early expectations. Luis Severino pitches for the Yanks - he's 23, he averaged 97.6 miles per hour on his fastball, tops among qualified starters. He has the best stuff on the team, and is the second-best pitcher on the staff, after Santana. "Dallas Keuchel had a lot of success off of us and it continued in that wild-card game". He was activated from the disabled list for the final weekend series after missing 38 games with a stress reaction after fouling a ball of his shin. He had a fantastic season, was arguably the first-half MVP of the team, and is one of the most important players in the franchise moving forward.
But if he plays Tuesday night, he will be the designated hitter. Yankee Stadium is one of the most hitter-friendly parks in the league, and the Yankees use it well.
Sure, it's a potential one-and-done, a season boiled down to three hours on Tuesday evening, but according to the numbers you have to like the Yankees' chances. Leading the majors in runs scored after the All-Star break, Minnesota also got 28 home runs from Miguel Sano, 27 from Eddie Rosario and 21 from Eduardo Escobar. At worst, Sano should be brought into pinch hit if the Twins need a late-inning extra base hit.
Undoubtedly the strength of the team, NY features one of the best bullpens in all of major league baseball.
The first game of the American League Division Series will take place on Thursday, October 5th. Byron Buxton has emerged as one of the best center fielders in the game. With a 91-71 record, they are clearly the better team, edging Minnesota in every facet of the game. It happened just two weeks ago as NY outscored Minnesota by a total of 18-6. All the Twins have to do is win and they go on to play the Indians in the ALDS beginning later this week.