The Associated PressNEW YORK (AP) — Aaron Judge got the party started with a two-run homer nine pitches in. By the time Giancarlo Stanton capped the mauling with a monstrous drive in his postseason debut, New York Yankees fans already were looking ahead.
“We want Boston,” they chanted.
Coming up next.
“It’s going to be intense,” CC Sabathia predicted after the Yankees pounded the Oakland Athletics 7-2 on Wednesday night to win their second straight AL wild-card game.
New York will take a train to Boston for a best-of-five Division Series starting Friday night, a matchup of 100-win heavyweights.
“I think they’re ready and relish the opportunity to go up against the game’s best this year,” Yankees rookie manager Aaron Boone said of his players.
Boone remains a dirty word among the Fenway Park faithful. His 11th-inning homer in Game 7 of the 2003 AL Championship Series beat the Red Sox.
A year later Boston overcame the Yankees and became the first major league team to overcome a 3-0 postseason deficit. The Red Sox went on to win their first World Series since 1918, but Boone’s drive off Tim Wakefield has not been forgotten or forgiven.
Boston went 10-9 against the Yankees this year and set a club record with 108 wins. New York became the first team since the 2001 A’s to reach triple digits in wins and fail to finish first.
“We’ve just got to do our homework and come out swinging,” said Luke Voit, who broke open the game with a two-run triple in a four-run sixth .
Luis Severino atoned for last year’s flop in the wild-card game against Minnesota, pitching no-hit shutout ball into the fifth. Dellin Betances entered with two on and got six straight outs as part of a five-hitter and the Yankees extending their home postseason winning streak to seven.
Severino let out a primal scream after escaping a bases-loaded jam in the fourth with a 99.6 fastball — his fastest pitch of the night — to strike out Marcus Semien .
Yankees fans fretted about an all-or-nothing knockout match, thinking back to last year when Severino fell behind Minnesota 3-0 just 10 pitches in. New York rallied for an 8-4 win against the Twins, but the memory remained raw.
Severino retired his first three batters in order on 10 pitches
“I think the first inning was huge for me, after all the stuff that people say on social media, all of that stuff,” he explained.
Andrew McCutchen walked leading off the bottom half against reliever-turned starter Liam Hendricks, and Judge hit a drive over the left-field scoreboard, joining Reggie Jackson as the only Yankees with four home runs in their first seven postseason home games.