Yankees and Red Sox will meet in a wild card game

The Yankees chased Aaron Judge into the outfield early Sunday night, invading him in a cheerful and spirited embrace. Now they will fol...


The Yankees chased Aaron Judge into the outfield early Sunday night, invading him in a cheerful and spirited embrace. Now they will follow Judge to the playoffs.

Judge is the lifeblood of the Yankees, the slugger who led them for half a decade as they tried to return to the World Series. This season has been more grueling than most, alternating long stretches of captivating and confusing play. But the judge assured that this would continue by ending a tense day at Yankee Stadium with a simple winner at the end of the ninth inning to beat the Tampa Bay Rays, 1-0.

“It has been a crazy, wild and difficult year,” said manager Aaron Boone. “It’s only fitting that it comes down to the last day to enter. But I love our group, I love our guys, I love our competition. It hasn’t always been pretty, but we’re ready to give it a shot. We know we can beat anyone when we are at our best.

The Yankees’ first test will be rival Boston Red Sox, who earned a 7-5 road victory over the Washington Nationals with four hits and two home runs from Rafael Devers. The Yankees and Boston finished the regular season with identical records (92-70), but the Red Sox will host the American League wildcard game on Tuesday at Fenway Park as they took the Yankees’ season series, 10 -9.

The Yankees will start their ace, Gerrit Cole, with the Red Sox lined up to start former Yankee Nathan Eovaldi.

“You can feel the Yankees-Red Sox are a little different,” said starter Jameson Taillon, a freshman Yankee who collected the first 10 strikeouts on Sunday. “I have never experienced anything like this. The Red Sox-Yankees, even in the regular season, in June, felt different, so I’m sure it’s going to be a crazy game. Person I would rather have on the mound than Gerrit Cole.

Three-time All-Star Judge set the date with his first career game-ending shot. He connected with a powerful center shot that deflected Rays pitcher Andrew Kittredge’s glove. Second baseman Brandon Lowe picked up the ball and threw a lopsided pitch at home, but pinch runner Tyler Wade slipped headfirst before the pitch to spark the celebration.

“It took us a while to get started,” Judge said. “But we got a place in the playoffs. All you have to do is enter.

It was the Yankees’ first game in more than three years to go scoreless in the ninth inning, and the Yankees only managed one hit in the first eight. They are missing a star infielder after putting DJ LeMahieu on the pre-match injured list with a sports hernia, but Rougned Odor – the third scorer with .201 at the time of the match – came to start the winning rally. .

Odor started off with a single from left-hander Josh Fleming, and Wade ran for him. After an out, Anthony Rizzo hit a right single, advancing to second on a home pitch with Wade holding third. Then, Kittredge, a right-hander, came up against Judge, who delivered the Yankees to their 57th playoff appearance and fifth in a row.

“We know our ultimate goal isn’t just to get in,” said Judge, after partying with his teammates in the clubhouse. “It was a good party, but now it’s time to get down to business. All that other stuff, 162 was spring training. Now is the time to jump into the regular season and get it started. “

The Yankees used a six-man pitching relay to overpower the Rays, and one stood above the others. With two strikeouts in the sixth inning, shortstop Gio Urshela headed for the third base dugout for a foul by Austin Meadows. Urshela grabbed the ball and rushed headfirst up the steps of the Rays dugout, through an opening in the railing.

“It looked like a missile flying in there,” Boone said. “It scared me to death.”

Urshela, who was playing as a team, limped on his own and stayed in the game until the ninth inning. He said he initially thought he might have been seriously injured, but was relieved he hadn’t hit his head. He experienced pain in his legs and elbow but said he was able to play on Tuesday.

“I felt a lot of pain at that time; I didn’t even know what was going on, ”Urshela said. “But thank goodness I feel really good. It could be worse.”

Urshela’s effort was the culmination of an overall inspired performance by the Yankees, who had lost the first two games of this series, risking needing a play-in match just to get the wild card.

The Yankees rarely take that long to advance to the playoffs. This was only the fifth time they’ve entered the final day of the regular season with a chance for a playoff berth – and one of those regular seasons, 1978, ended in a clash at Fenway made famous by Bucky Dent’s surprise three-point homerun. on the green monster.

That game – a playoff, but technically part of the regular season – propelled the Yankees to the American League Championship Series. At stake Tuesday will be a trip to Tampa Bay for the Divisional Series, and the Yankees and Red Sox have made sure it only takes one game.

The day started with the Toronto Blue Jays and Seattle Mariners also alive for a wildcard spot, creating the possibility of a three or four tie for two. But the Yankees and Red Sox both led Toronto and Seattle by one game, and when they won, the Blue Jays and Mariners were eliminated.

(For the record: Toronto beat the Baltimore Orioles, 12-4, but the Mariners lost to the Los Angeles Angels, 7-3, as Shohei Ohtani connected for his 46th homerun and 100th RBI. )

In the National League, the five-team playoff field was decided ahead of the weekend, but the Los Angeles Dodgers have had an expensive few days. They couldn’t snatch the West Division title from the San Francisco Giants and lost two major contributors to injury.

Clayton Kershaw, the best left-handed starter of his generation, left Friday’s game with recurring pain in his elbow and forearm; he said he was probably finished for the season. Max Muncy, the Dodgers’ home run and RBI point guard, left Sunday’s game after a play on first base in which a runner collided with his outstretched wrist as he attempted to retrieve the ball. Manager Dave Roberts later told reporters that Muncy was unlikely to play in the game against the St. Louis Cardinals or in a possible division series.

The Dodgers’ streak of eight straight division titles came to an end despite their dazzling end to the season. They went 44-13 after acquiring Max Scherzer and Trea Turner in a trade with Washington on July 31 and finished with 106 wins to tie a franchise record.

But the Giants have never collapsed, and the Dodgers will host St. Louis in the NL wildcard game on Wednesday.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Yankees and Red Sox will meet in a wild card game
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