Now that 162 games are completed and in the books, the New York Yankees now know they’ll host the Houston Astros in the AL Wild Card Game.
By Robby Sabo
The very pleasantly surprising New York Yankees 2015 MLB season has officially ended. Barely hanging onto a good record at 87-75, the Bronx Bombers finished six games behind the AL East champion Toronto Blue Jays.
While it may have felt like the early 1990s all over again – with Roberto Alomar and John Olerud torching the club – 2015 features Wild Cards. And thanks to the advent of the second Wild Card, we now know New York will host the also very surprising Houston Astros on Tuesday night for the right to move onto the ALDS and take on the defending AL Champion Kansas City Royals.
Although we came very close to seeing the Yanks having to travel to Houston for the game.
Thanks to New York losing its final three-games of the season (all to Baltimore), had the Astros beaten the Diamondbacks on Sunday, Yankee Stadium would’ve remained empty on Tuesday night. But it didn’t happen and the Yankees will start fresh in this due-or-die contest.
As reported earlier in the week, Masahiro Tanaka will be Joe Girardi’s man. He’ll take a 12-7 record and 3.51 ERA over 24 games started this season into the pressure-packed night.
— MLB (@MLB) October 4, 2015
He’ll face none other than Dallas Keuchel, a guy who’s given the Yankees fits in recent memory.
Kuechel, who was the starting pitcher for the AL during the MLB All-Star Game this season, is a lefty. This alone will provide a more difficult time for the Yankees predominantly lefty lineup. Against righties, the Bombers slugged 159 HR in 3,789 at-bats. Against lefties the HR total dips all the way down to 53 in 1,741 at-bats.
This especially hurts considering the switch-hitting Mark Teixeira being absent gives way to the lefty Greg Bird.
Still, numbers are numbers. They’re officially in the playoffs.
“Tuesday is a new day,” manager Joe Girardi said. “We wake up tomorrow, and it’s a new day and we’re where we want to be — we’re in the playoffs,” via Associated Press.
The AL Wild Card game gets underway Tuesday night at 8 PM ET and can be seen on ESPN.
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