42,000 screaming fans raging their faces off in mayhem of sincerity. Ahh yes, October playoff baseball is back in the Bronx and the crowd hasn’t missed a beat. For their electric behavior, the Yankees rewarded the home supporters with that classic magic that always seems to end rightfully for those guys in pinstripes. They also figured out a recipe or blueprint for possessions success.
Yes, Aaron Judge did his thing, and Brett Gardner launched a ball to the upper deck. Didi Gregorius jacked his own bomb to tie things up after going down 3-0, but the true story was the bullpen from the 1st inning until the last.
Another look at Didi Gregorius's game tying 3-R HR in the bottom of the first. pic.twitter.com/lgkZbImFpY
— Baseball Swag™ (@Baseballswag_) October 4, 2017
The Yankees literally went 9 innings of bullpen baseball and shutdown the Twins after that opening inning. Starting pitcher Luis Severino had difficulty finding the strike zone, but there was the bullpen to bail him out.
We have heard of pitchers bombing but 1/3 of an inning? Damn, that’s harsh. This is what makes the playoffs great though, unorthodox usage of bullpens. You ever think you would see David Robertson pitching in the 3rd inning? Well now you can say you have.
Most teams have 1 or 2 bullpen pitchers they can rely on at times like these, the Yankees have an entire portfolio of them. The heroes of the game other than Robertson had to be Chad Greene getting out of that 1st inning with runners on 2nd and 3rd with 1 out, and Tom Kahnle following Robertson’s act.
I mean just look at these stats:
Greene: 2 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 4 K
Robertson: 3.1 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 5 K, (W)
Kahnle: 2.1 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 1 K, (Hold)
Aroldis Chapman: 1 IP, 1 H, 3 K
Folks, that’s 8 2/3 innings of 1 run baseball while also breaking a playoff record of strikouts by a bullpen on route to their comeback victory of 8-4.
Robertson also gave us the gem after the ball hit Gary Sanchez where the sun don’t shine:
Yankees relief pitcher David Robertson was feeling catcher Gary Sanchez's pain as Sanchez took a foul ball directly to the groin. pic.twitter.com/dAcicUtJvO
— USA TODAY Sports (@usatodaysports) October 4, 2017
They didn’t have to use Dellin Betances in this game! Yeah he’s struggling a bit, but it’s at the playoffs, there’s a new chapter.
Right in front our eyes we saw the plan for the next few days. You might think that these pitchers are fatigued, you have to think though that the starting pitching like Sonny Gray will labor more innings in game 1 than Severino did.
If the Yankees bullpen pitchers can handle numerous innings of work, just imagine how they’ll be knowing they’re only needed for 1.
The plan is simple for the Yankees now:
-Get a lead
-Have the starter go at least 4 innings
-Unleash the bullpen
New York’s starting pitching doesn’t match up with the Cleveland Indians rotation, but they do have a bullpen to counteract this issue.
Only problem is, the Tribe’s bullpen is just as great. Were in for an ALDS that has a chance to exceed expectations.
Matthew Matera is a contributing writer for gmbsports.com. Follow him on Twitter @matty4_matera2, “Like” him on Facebook and add him to your Google network