LEADING OFF: Yanks’ Severino gets wild-card do-over vs A’s
A look at what’s happening around the majors today:
Luis Severino gets a wild-card do-over when he starts for the Yankees against Oakland in a winner-take-all matchup. Severino allowed three runs and got just one out in last year’s wild-card game against Minnesota before New York rallied for an 8-4 victory. Severino was chosen over J.A. Happ and Masahiro Tanaka despite a second-half slump.
“I think he’s equipped in so many ways to handle this, and perhaps most importantly, he’s equipped with amazing stuff and the ability to dominate big league hitters because he’s such a talented pitcher,” manager Aaron Boone said.
The A’s will counter with a bullpen game, beginning with reliever Liam Hendriks — among the more unlikely postseason starters ever. Hendriks was waived off the 40-man roster in June, spent two months in the minors, then emerged in September as Oakland’s go-to “opener” to cover for an injury-decimated rotation.
Hendriks (0-1) will be just the fourth pitcher to start a playoff game after a regular season of no wins, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. The previous three missed most of their seasons either to serve in a war or because of injury.
Braves shortstop Dansby Swanson appears to be a longshot to make the team’s roster for its NL Division Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Swanson partially tore a ligament in his left hand on a swing against the Mets on Sept. 25. He had pain when he tried to swing a bat Saturday in Philadelphia and received more treatment Tuesday, remaining inside while his teammates were on the SunTrust Park field. Atlanta manager Brian Snitker says Swanson has “a chance” to play, but added “I don’t know how great of one.”
DAY OF REST
After winning an epic NL wild-card game that lasted nearly five hours, Trevor Story and the Rockies can finally take a breather. Backup catcher Tony Wolters hit a tiebreaking single with two outs in the 13th inning and Colorado outlasted the Chicago Cubs 2-1 Tuesday night at Wrigley Field in the longest winner-take-all postseason game in major league history. It was the third big game over three days in three different cities for the Rockies, who play Game 1 of a best-of-five Division Series at NL Central champion Milwaukee on Thursday. “We didn’t make it easy on ourselves, that’s for sure,” Story said, “but we’re going to enjoy this one tonight and we’re definitely not done.”
TWIN CITIES SEACH PARTY
Minnesota is looking for a new manager one day after firing Paul Molitor. Chief baseball officer Derek Falvey and general manager Thad Levine cited a pursuit of more productive player development for their younger players. The move comes amid struggles for Byron Buxton and Miguel Sano, players long targeted as franchise cornerstones. Minnesota is willing to wait until after the World Series to decide on a skipper in case a candidate is still participating.