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Things to Know For Tonight’s AL Wild Card Elimination Game

by Owen Hetherington

October 5, 2021

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t’s been one rollercoaster of a season, but we finally made it. The postseason.

The Yankees will square off against the Boston Red Sox tonight to determine who will advance to the best of five ALDS against the Rays. The stakes are high, and the Yankees must be all-in.

In preparation for tonight’s contest, here are a few things you might want to know.

All Rise For the Judge

Since August 7 vs. Seattle, Aaron Judge is batting .306/.385/.622 with 47 RBI, 34 R, 17 HR, 11 2B, and 27 BB. He led the Yankees by reaching base multiple times in 81-of-147 games this year and tied for the seventh most in the American League.

Aaron Judge recorded his first walk off of his career in the final game off the regular season, a single up the middle that brought home the winning run and sent the Yankees to the postseason. Aaron Judge has been the most consistent player for the Yankees this season as he will be relied on to make a major impact tonight.

In two single-game elimination Wild Card games during his career (2017 & 2018), Aaron Judge is 4-for-7 with 2 HR, 4 RBI, and 5 runs scored. He has risen to the occasion in these Wild Card games. I expect him to do the same tonight.

All Rise to the Occasion. pic.twitter.com/EOtbLMglep — New York Yankees (@Yankees) October 3, 2021

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All Aboard The Cole Train

Gerrit Cole will make his 31st start of the 2021 season and will be his 14th career start in the postseason. His 243 strikeouts this season are the second most by a Yankee in a single season in club history, trailing only Ron Guidry who struck out 248 in 1978.

Cole will be making his second post season start against the Boston Red Sox, having faced them back in 2018 with the Houston Astros where he went 6.0 IP allowing 5 earned runs on 6 hits and 2 walks while striking out 5.

Cole is 2-2 with a 4.91 against Boston this season. However, this is the postseason, and the energy will be high. Over three starts in pinstripes during the postseason, Gerrit Cole is 2-0 with a 2.95 ERA and 7.5:1 SO/BB ratio.

Gio Is Ready To Roll

Gio Urshela made arguably the highlight of the season on Sunday by flying into the Tampa Bay dugout after making a running grab during a critical moment. Gio remained down for quite some time in the Rays’ dugout and I couldn’t help but to think the worst.

Gio remains sore but is expected to be in the lineup against the Red Sox in Fenway.

Boone said he thinks Gio Urshela will be ready to play in tomorrow’s game. “If there was a game today, he’d be playing.” — Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) October 4, 2021

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According to Boone, Gio is ready to go. Urshela is batting .333 (22-for-66) with 10 R, 1 2B, 3 HR, 8 RBI, and 2 BB since September 14. Gio provides great defense and will be much needed in the playoff run.

GIO URSHELA JUST DID HIS OWN VERSION OF THE JETER CATCH 😱 (via @MLB)pic.twitter.com/75rwjvE5yE — SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) October 3, 2021

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GIO URSHELA JUST DID HIS OWN VERSION OF THE JETER CATCH 😱 (via @MLB)pic.twitter.com/75rwjvE5yE — SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) October 3, 2021

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Yankees vs. Red Sox

The cards have been dealt. The stage is set. #SquadUp pic.twitter.com/Vokz1bWMot — New York Yankees (@Yankees) October 4, 2021

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This season, it has been a series defined by steaks with the Yankees and Red Sox. Boston won the first seven head-to-head contests while the Yankees have won nine of their last 12 meetings, including each of the last six.

The Yankees have outscored the Red Sox this season by 31-14 margin over the last six games. This game is also the first winner-take-all-game between these two clubs since 2004, when the Red Sox overcame a 3-0 deficit to win the AL pennant.

***

The wild, long, frustrating, and rollercoaster of a season has brought us to tonight for a one game, win-or-go-home contest against who other, than the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park.

It’s going to be a long day waiting for this game.

Survive and advance. Lets go Yankees!

#WildCard

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