The New York Yankees won the AL Wild Card game against the Twins in typical Yankee fashion Tuesday night. How did they prove they’ll beat the Indians?
Tuesday night kicked off the MLB playoffs with a pretty fun game between the Yankees and the Twins. We saw the Twins jump all over the Yanks and build a 3-0 lead instantly. That lead lasted a pretty short time as the Bronx Bombers lived up to their nickname and hit three home runs to end up running away with the game. Now’s the time to dig into how the Yankees proved they can beat the Cleveland Indians in the Divisional Round.
The Indians will certainly be favored, and they should be. They won 102 games, they have stars all over the field, and they almost won the World Series last year. They’re better this season than they were last. However, that doesn’t mean that New York doesn’t have a very real chance to take out the defending AL champions. The Yankees have a very good team in their own right and the people who are counting them out may look foolish. We’re going to discuss the five biggest reasons the Yankees can take out the Indians and move on to the ALCS.
5. The Yankees are playing loose and having fun
Why it matters: This isn’t something that can be quantified by stats but is a very important factor. We’ve seen teams that make the postseason that are young or maybe shouldn’t be there yet play like they have nothing to lose. This Yankee squad is talented, but there also isn’t a ton of playoff experience from some of their key players.
Yes, players like C.C. Sabathia and Aroldis Chapman have been there before. Guys like Aaron Judge, Didi Gregorius, Gary Sanchez and Luis Severino had basically zero experience coming into Tuesday night. Not everyone had the same personal experience but the collective emotional one couldn’t have worked out better for New York’s postseason newbies. Tasting defeat always motivates a team, but the Yankees young stars tasted adversity and bounced back, which could be the key ingredient in pushing this team over the top.
While Severino didn’t get much game action because he got chased after just 1/3 of an inning, the rest of the young crew looked like they were just in a regular season game. They played well and didn’t shrink away from the moment. They continued their practice of having a “press conference” in the dugout after a home run. These guys are clearly having fun and enjoying themselves. If they can keep that attitude up as the games continue to get bigger, they can play with any team in baseball.