The New York Yankees advanced to the American League division series for the first time in five years. The Yankees defeated the Twins 8-4 in the wild-card game on Tuesday, thanks to their Baby Bombers.
The Yankees bullpen exhibited the highest level of performance in their home stadium. Furthermore, their batters scored three home runs that made the visiting team have to admit their defeat. There was only one weakness in the Yankees overall performance, that was the nervousness of their young pitcher, Luis Severino.
From the first batter, Severino looked very anxious and made unnecessary mistakes. He made one out and gave two home runs to the Twins. The dubious play of Severino made team manager Joe Girardi have to take him out and brought in a series of relievers. Fortunately, Chad Green, David Robertson, Chasen Shreve, and Tommy Kahnle played well to contain Minnesota.
After a bumpy start, Didi Gregorius hit a three-run home run in the first inning to tie the score. This was the defining moment that lifted the team's moral and turned the table for the Yankees.
Following the victory over the Twins, New York advances to the American League Division Series. They will face the top seed Cleveland Indians in a best-of-five game series that will begin this Thursday. This is the first time the New York Yankees have entered the American League playoffs since 2012.
Advancing to the American League playoffs shows a big hope for the Yankees with their young players. Since last year, New York has begun an extensive overhaul of the team.
They made their first effort to rebuild the roster by sending pitcher Aroldis Chapman to the Chicago Cubs. Chapman departed to Chicago in exchange for four young players, including pitcher Adam Warren and prospects Gleyber Torres, Billy McKinney, and Rashad Crawford. Later on, New York traded Andrew Miller to Cleveland for outfielder Clint Frazier, pitcher Justus Sheffield, with two prospects, Ben Heller and JP. Feyereisen.
Girardi has focused his rebuilding process entirely on the young players. During the off-season, he aggressively scouted youngsters with one specific goal in mind: to create a championship-level team made of young players. The group of youngsters is nicknamed "Baby Bombers" and they have become the backbone of the team.
However, many people doubted Girardi's goal to build a championship team based on young players. Washington Post even called his mission as one of the most difficult missions in baseball.
However, Girardi and the Yankees have proven their doubters to be wrong. With the victory over Minnesota, Girardi and his Baby Bombers have shown their capability to overcome the pressure. Now, they will face the real test as they will challenge Cleveland, last year's American League Champions. Watch the highlight of the wild card game in the American League between the Yankees and the Twins below:
[Featured Image by Frank Franklin II/AP Images]