A's vs. Yanks

USA Today

A’s vs. Yanks

The Oakland A's are coming to New York with bad intentions.

October 03, 2018 - 12:14 pm

The New York Yankees won 100 games this season. And for this season to be anything other than a disaster, they're gonna need to win 101. 

Because the Evil Empire isn't about stacking regular season Ws. They're not about Wild Card appearances. And they sure as hell aren't about going one-and-done. But I’ve got bad news for Yankee Fans. The Oakland A's are coming to New York with bad intentions. With a pile of house money spilling from their pockets and a roster of absolute savages. And I’ll be straight -- I won't be surprised if we see another Road Dog pop bottles tonight. 

Because the Yankees are giving the ball to Luis Severino. That's a move that looks perfectly logical on paper. 19 wins. An ERA of 3.39. 220 Ks in 191 innings. But a dude who is an absolute coin-flip when it comes to what you're gonna get. 

When this guy is good, he's unhittable. When he's bad, he's a gas can. For two months this summer, he might have been the best starter on the planet. For two months, he might have been the worst. And a year after lasting just ONE-THIRD of an inning when he got the start in the very same Wild Card game, the Yanks are putting the ball back in this dude's hands and hoping for the best. 

Now last year, the Yankees dug out of it. But last year, they weren't facing the A's. This may feel like a crew that's just happy to be there, but do not get it twisted. They won 97 games. They won more road games than any team not named the Red Sox and the defending champs. And they're coming into the Bronx with a pitching staff full of killers and they might all get the ball. 

The A's are "starting" Liam Hendricks tonight. And by starting, I mean, he's the start of a parade of relievers who plan on making the Bombers night absolutely miserable. Hendricks has made 8 starts this September. They've all been less than 2 innings. And the A's are walking into the Evil Empire with the plan of bullpenning the Yankees lineup to death. 

And if you ask my man Eric Byrnes -- like I did on Ep 52 of the Jim Rome podcast -- that's the only way to go, "If you're not  bullpenning these days, what are you doing? Unless you're running out a horse, and I’m talking a horse, like a 1-2 guy. I'll have a trigger on any guy that's not a 1. If I were running a team, I don't think a 4th or 5th starter would exist. The way the game is changing, I think it's cool. And people are gonna argue it's not good for baseball. You're gonna have your starters, you're gonna have your superstars. But who ever bought a ticket to see a 4 or 5?"

If you look at the numbers, the A's are onto something. The Yankees only went 19-16 this season when they faced six or more opposing pitchers. And with the A's traveling to New York with 11 pitchers and maybe only one true starter in Edwin Jackson, they're gonna see at least six tonight. 

So in one dugout, you've got Aaron Boone hoping he gets his starter deep into the game. In the other, Bob Melvin's looking for five outs. And after crashing October with a roster full of no-names, the A's are heading into Yankee Stadium looking to swing a wrecking ball. Sleep on these guys and you’ll get knocked the hell out. And it wouldn’t surprise me at all if it happened.