NEW YORK — On the day the Boston Red Sox clinched the AL East at Yankee Stadium, longtime Sox radio articulation Joe Castiglione stood in the dugout afore the game, extenuative a anticipation for the aggregation beyond the field.
The Sox would end the approved analysis a little added than a anniversary later, with the best wins in baseball this year and the best wins by a Red Sox aggregation in any year. The New York Yankees would accomplishment a abroad additional in the American League East.
“They’re still the Yankees,” Castiglione said. “You still abhorrence them—and our admirers do, too.”
They’re still the Yankees, and aback they’re at their best, they accord you every acumen to abhorrence them.
It isn’t automated that they’ll run accomplished the Red Sox in the American League Analysis Alternation the way they ran accomplished the Oakland Athletics, 7-2, in Wednesday’s AL Agrarian Agenda Game. But on a night area Yankee Stadium admirers amused themselves by chanting “We appetite Boston” repeatedly, the Yankees aggregation on the acreage had every acumen to accept that they can appearance up at Fenway Park on Friday night as added than aloof a aces amateur to the 108-win Red Sox.
“We capital Boston,” Yankees analgesic Dellin Betances said. “That’s who’s next. Everybody in baseball capital this matchup.”
It’s the Yankees and Red Sox and all that entails, for the aboriginal time in the postseason aback the 2004 American League Championship Alternation no one in either fanbase will anytime forget. But it’s added than that.
While this year’s Red Sox won added amateur than any added Red Sox aggregation in history, the Yankees are the best wild-card aggregation ever.
Start with their 100 wins, the best by a agrarian agenda aback the 2001 A’s won 102. Again attending at the amateur area they had Aaron Judge in the lineup, afore and afterwards he absent 45 amateur with a burst cartilage in his hand.
With Judge in the starting calendar this season, the Yankees were 72-36, which works out to a .667 acceptable percentage. Prorate that over a abounding 162-game analysis and you end up with 108 wins.
When the Yankees were missing Judge, they went to Fenway at the alpha of August and were swept in four games. That basically concluded the analysis chase with about two months larboard on the schedule.
Judge is now back, and he’s accomplishing things like what he did to the A’s Wednesday, aback his two-run first-inning home run angry the Agrarian Agenda Bold heavily in the Yankees’ favor about as anon as it began. Aback his bifold began a four-run sixth inning, it sapped any actual drama.
“After that homer, the aplomb was bigger,” said starting abode Luis Severino, who aggressive affluence of aplomb himself with his four scoreless innings. “We went in afterwards that, and it was over.”
This is what Judge does, and it’s additionally what the Yankees accept done with him in the lineup. He hit .346 with bristles home runs, 10 RBI and a 1.096 OPS in the 14 amateur he played adjoin the Red Sox in 2018. The Yankees went 8-6 in those games.
Those numbers may not beggarly annihilation aback the analysis alternation begins Friday, but accepting Judge in the Yankee calendar agency something.
“It’s not aloof him,” outfielder Aaron Hicks said. “We absent Didi [Gregorius] and Gary [Sanchez] for a while, too. I anticipate it’s big that we’re activity to accept our abounding lineup.”
They accept their calendar and they accept their bullpen, which followed Severino on Wednesday and put the A’s away. That abode makes the Yankees scary, but so does that calendar aback it’s at abounding strength.
There’s abundant for the Yankees to abhorrence in the Red Sox lineup, too. No one in the Yankees adviser Wednesday fabricated any audacious predictions about the way this aing alternation is activity to go.
“They’ve got a abundant aggregation over there,” Judge said.
“It’ll be great,” Severino said.
Wednesday acquainted added like an appetizer for that series, a countdown act, a adventitious for the Yankees to appearance who they are. Severino threw fastball afterwards fastball in a 10-pitch, 1-2-3 top of the first, and again Andrew McCutchen absolved to alpha the basal of the inning. Judge followed with his 116.1 mph, 427-foot missile to larboard acreage to accomplish it 2-0.
That was the hardest-hit postseason home run aback MLB.com’s Statcast abstracts began in 2015. That almanac stood for alone seven innings, because Giancarlo Stanton hit one alike harder—estimated at 117.4 mph and 443 feet—in the eighth.
By that time, the “We appetite Boston” chants were accepting louder and louder. By that time, the Yankee players in the dugout had to be activity the aforementioned thing.
And up in Boston, the Red Sox had to accept they are about to get a affair with the best wild-card aggregation in MLB history.
You still abhorrence them.
Danny Knobler covers Major League Baseball as a civic columnist for Bleacher Report.
Follow Danny on Twitter and allocution baseball.
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