Yanks top A's in Wild Card Game – MLB.com

NEW YORK — The hours of conversation and planning that the Yankees poured into ensuring they remained alive past the third day of October boiled down to the same blueprint they brought into the year. Allow Luis Severino to showcase his high-octane arsenal, hand the game off to the vaunted bullpen and wait for Aaron Judge or Giancarlo Stanton to crush a ball out of sight.

It came together mostly as envisioned on Wednesday evening, helping the Yankees post a 7-2 victory over the Athletics in the American League Wild Card Game at Yankee Stadium. After the requisite pouring of bubbly and beer, the Bombers will ride the rails to meet the Red Sox for an AL Division Series that opens on Friday night at Fenway Park.

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“That Wild Card Game is no joke. It takes years off of you,” Judge said. “We were prepared, just like Oakland. It was a tough game, a fun game; you live for those moments. Any big moment like that, you enjoy those situations. You enjoy the pressure. Your back’s against the wall; that’s what this team is all about.”

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A year after recording just one out in his postseason debut, Severino rose to the challenge and rewarded manager Aaron Boone’s belief that the right-hander’s tantalizing ceiling made him the correct choice to start the winner-take-all contest, holding the A’s hitless into the fifth inning while striking out five of the first seven men he faced.

“I think last year, my first time in a playoff game, I was too excited,” Severino said. “I was going to go to the mound and treat it like a regular game,

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