New York Yankees Advance To ALDS After Wild Win Over Minnesota
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 03: Didi Gregorius #18 of the New York Yankees celebrates after hitting a three run home run against Ervin Santana #54 of the Minnesota Twins during the first inning in the American League Wild Card Game at Yankee Stadium on October 3, 2017 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Falling back 3-0 in the top of the first inning was not an impossible task for the New York Yankees, as they lit up the scoreboard en route to an ALDS appearance. 

  • Minnesota Twins: 4 (0-1)
  • New York Yankees: 8 (1-0)
  • American League Wild Card Game, FINAL, Box Score
  • Yankee Stadium, Bronx, NY

Just 29 pitches into the 2017 American League Wild Card Game, all hope looked lost for the New York Yankees.

In front of a sellout, postseason crowd at Yankee Stadium, ace Luis Severino recorded just one out in the first inning while allowing three runs on four hits including two home runs.

But we’re talking about the team that pulled out 41 come-from-behind wins during the regular season.

Down 3-0 in the bottom of the first set to face Ervin Santana, Brett Gardner got the party started with a walk and after Aaron Judge moved him over to third with a soft single, Didi Gregorius came through.

The Yankees’ shortstop lifted a three-run home run off the Twins’ starter to make it an entirely new ballgame in the Bronx. After Chad Green, who did an incredible job relieving Severino in the first to keep the deficit at three, registered a scoreless second, Gardner continued the party.

After nearly getting drilled by a 95.4 MPH fastball from Santana, the longest-tenured Yankee erupted Yankee Stadium with a solo jack into the second deck in right. It was his first career postseason home run and it gave New York a 4-3 lead.

Minnesota, however, didn’t throw in the towel, either.

Jorge Polanco kicked off the top of the fourth inning with a single to right field and after Chad Green walked Eddie Rosario and Max Kepler, manager Joe Girardi called on David Robertson with the bases loaded to pull a Houdini.

Although Byron Buxton beat out a potential double-play ball to knot the game up at four with a RBI fielder’s choice, Robertson struck out Jason Castro to avoid further trouble.

Tied at four apiece, the Yankees threatened once again in the third. Gary Sanchez led off the frame against reliever Jose Berrios and after he fanned both Gregorius and Starlin Castro, first baseman Greg Bird roped a RBI single to right field to put the Yankees ahead 5-4.

Looking to pad their lead in the bottom of the fourth, Judge came up in the bottom of the fourth and did just that. With Brett Gardner on first, the 6-foot-8 MVP candidate smacked a frozen rope into the first row in left field to extend the Yankees’ lead to 7-4.

After David Robertson’s memorable night in which he set career-highs in innings pitched and strikeouts came to an end in the sixth, Tommy Kahnle came on and pitched 2.1 innings of scoreless ball to continue an impeccable evening for the Yankees’ bullpen.

Aroldis Chapman then came on in the ninth to strike out the side, punching the Yankees ticket to the American League Division Series for the first time since 2012 with a final score of 8-4.

Forgettable Start:

After recording just one out and surrendering three runs, Severino became the first starting pitcher in postseason history to record one or zero outs while allowing at least three earned runs since Oakland Athletics’ starter Gil Heredia allowed six earned runs to the Yankees in Game 5 of the 2000 ALDS.

Debut To Remember: 

After Judge smacked a home run off Berrios in the fourth, the slugger became just the third player in Yankees’ history to record at least two hits and two RBI’s in a postseason debut. Bernie Williams in Game 1 of the 1995 ALDS and Buddy Hassett in Game 1 of the 1942 World Series were the only others to do so.

Houdini Magic:

With six strikeouts in 3.1 innings of relief work by David Robertson, the right-hander became the 10th relief pitcher in Yankees’ hitter to record at least five strikeouts in the postseason. The last to do so was Ivan Nova, who fanned five Detroit Tigers’ hitters in Game 1 of the 2011 ALDS.

What’s Next: 

For the Yankees, it’s off to the American League Division Series where they will take on the Cleveland Indians in a best-of-five series. Game 1 will kick off on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. ET at Progressive Field. Sonny Gray will likely get the ball for New York against Trevor Bauer.