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The Greyhound

Yankees, Diamondbacks advance to Division Series


After two drama-filled nights, the New York Yankees and the Arizona Diamondbacks won the wild card games in their respective leagues, and will advance to their Division Series starting this weekend to kick off the baseball playoffs.

New York fell behind early on, giving up three runs in the first inning to the Minnesota Twins on Oct. 3 at Yankee Stadium. However, they quickly got those runs back, bolstered by a home run from shortstop Didi Gregorius in the bottom half of the frame. First baseman Greg Bird put the Yankees in front with an RBI single in the third inning, and right fielder Aaron Judge extended the margin with a two-run shot in the fourth. The rookie had made waves this season by hitting 52 home runs, the most ever by a player in his first year in MLB.

The bullpen gave the Yankees a big lift. Starter Luis Severino only lasted one-third of an inning before being pulled from the game, having allowed three runs. Reliever Chad Green came in, and allowed one run over two innings, while striking out four. David Robertson, who had been acquired from the Chicago White Sox in July, was brilliant, throwing 3 1/3 innings while allowing three hits and no runs. Tommy Kahnle and Aroldis Chapman sealed an 8-4 victory with more scoreless work.

With this victory, the Yankees will play in the American League Division Series for the first time since 2012. After a few years of mediocrity, the New York had acquired a stockpile of talent, including Judge, Severino, Bird, Gregorius, second baseman Starlin Castro, and catcher Gary Sanchez. The team was not expected to be serious contenders this year, but they nevertheless won 91 games and qualified for the playoffs.

The Yankees will face the defending American League champions, the Cleveland Indians, in the ALDS starting Thursday, Oct. 12. The Indians won a remarkable 102 games this season, including 22 in a row at one point.

On Oct. 4, the Arizona Diamondbacks jumped out to an early 6-0 lead over the Colorado Rockies in Phoenix. Colorado made it interesting, cutting the deficit down to just one run at one point. In the seventh inning, pitcher Archie Bradley gave Arizona a little insurance, knocking in two runs on his first career triple. That made the score 8-5, with the Diamondbacks six outs away from moving on.

The Rockies wouldn’t go down without a fight, however. Third baseman Nolan Arenado and shortstop Trevor Story hit back-to-back home runs in the top of the eighth, making it a one-run game once again. Arizona quickly responded in the bottom half, as center fielder A.J. Pollock drove in two runs with a triple. Closer Fernando Rodney got the final three outs, as the Diamondbacks won 11-8.

For Arizona, it’s their first appearance in the National League Division Series since 2011. Following a disappointing campaign last year, the Diamondbacks won 93 games, and finished in second place in the National League West. They will play the winners of that division, the Los Angeles Dodgers, in the NLDS starting on Friday, Oct. 13.


*Photo by Dex(07) via*

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Yankees, Diamondbacks advance to Division Series