The Yankees are 95-60 and will see their season come down to a one game playoff against Oakland despite possibly winning 100 games.
That’s what happens when Boston has one of the all-time great regular seasons.
Wild card play won’t be new for the Yankees. They beat the Twins last year when the bullpen saved the day. In 2015, the Astros came into the Bronx and beat the Yankees 3-0.
The Yankees can thank themselves in part for this game. Back in 2010, the Yankees and Rays both were playoff bound and meeting each other in the final week although neither team went a put to win because a division title meant facing Cliff Lee and the Rangers in the ALDS. Not happy with seeing teams trying not to win a division title, the league took the measure of adding the wild card game so that there would be more incentive to win the division.
A pair of Yankees have wild card playoff experience in the other league. Neil Walker and Andrew McCutchen both played in three straight National League Wild Card games from 2013-15.
McCutchen was MVP in 2013 and the Pirates beat the Reds in the one game playoff before losing to St. Louis in the NLDS. In 2014 and 2015, Pittsburgh’s season ended at home with shutout losses at the hands of Madison Bumgarner and Jake Arrieta.
The 2015 team won 98 games but finished three games behind St. Louis and had to play in the one-game playoff.
Andrew McCutchen spoke to NY Sports Day after Sunday’s loss.
NYSD: Do you see any similarity between this team and that 2015 Pirates team that won 98 games and had to play in the wild card game?
AM: No. There’s no similarities, honestly. Two different teams, two different ways of winning so you can’t really compare the two. Honestly I can’t remember everything to a T three years ago. But this is a powerhouse of a team. It’s definitely a team with more power compared to the Pirates. We can just do a little more damage in the lineup.
NYSD: Do you like the Wild Card format the way it is?
AM: I mean, you get an opportunity as opposed to not having an opportunity, so it’s a one game playoff but you’ve got to win so that’s just the way it goes.
NYSD: At least you don’t have to face Jake Arrieta this time which I guess is a little nicer.
AM: It don’t matter. Don’t matter who they put out there. We’ll be alright.