In just a few hours, the Yankees and Red Sox will kick off the American League Wild Card Game at Fenway Park in Boston. The winner heads to Tampa to take on the Rays in the ALDS, which starts on Thursday.
Another year, another Wild Card game. OK, so last year was a little bit different, but tonight’s Yankees-Red Sox matchup marks the fourth time the Yankees have appeared in this round in the last five years. All of these win-or-go-home games have been a bit much on our collective hearts, wouldn’t you say? Hopefully, all of you were able to rest up and relax on yesterday’s day off. There won’t be much R&R going forward, especially if the Yankees move on, as you know.
As exhausted as the rest of MLB-fandom seems with the Yankees and Red Sox rivalary, it seems only fitting that these two clubs play once more in 2021. The Yankees chased down Boston for much of the summer, finally surpassed them late in the year, only to finish even at 92-70 each. Of course, Boston held the tiebreaker thanks to a 10-9 season series advantage, which results in tonight’s game at Fenway Park.
There was no thought of a Wild Card matchup between these two clubs back in June or July. It seemed like Boston was going to run away with the division, or at least, only have to fend off Tampa Bay. Meanwhile, the Yankees sputtered. And to make matters worse, the Red Sox went 7-0 against the Yanks to start the season.
Then, the Yankees turned the narrative upside down in the second half. There were some big swings, namely extended winning and losing streaks, but it summed to just enough to clinch on the last day of the season. A huge, huge help was going 9-3 against the Red Sox to finish the season, including an epic sweep in Boston a week-and-a-half ago.
Tonight’s game gets underway in a little less than eleven hours from now. We’ll have updates between now and then either here or on Twitter. For now, our preview of the Wild Card game comes after the jump:
It’s the off-day before the postseason begins. I didn’t think the Yankees would get in, but here we are anyway. With that all said, we don’t need any more of a recap of what went down this weekend. If you’re here, you know.
So let’s get right to some scattered thoughts today, shall we? This will kick off our playoff coverage and hopefully be the start of a very fun month here at Views.
Nothing can ever come easy to the 2021 Yankees, huh? They needed all of 162 games — and literally all of the 162nd game — to clinch a Wild Card spot. Today’s 1-0 win over the Rays was pretty emblematic of what we’ve seen from this team all season long: great pitching, lackluster offense, but just enough to pull things out in the end.
Before we get into the post itself, I wanted to take a moment and recognize Ken Singleton, YES broadcaster, who’s retiring after today’s telecast. Ken’s professionalism, passion, and love for the game of baseball have all been a joy and a privilege to hear over my many years of baseball fandom. Without a doubt, he is my favorite play-by-play announcer in the game and his color commentary is also near flawless. He knows baseball inside and out from a life well-lived in the game. He appreciates the players of today. He is knowledgeable without being a know it all. He is informative without being condescending. He is funny and witty without trying too hard. And, let’s be honest, his voice is a perfect voice for baseball. He will be sorely missed in the YES booth and we here at Views wish him well in all his future endeavors and time with his family. Thank you, Kenny, for sharing your love of baseball with us for so many years. We love you.