Yankees’ wild-card win was nuts, just ask Gary Sánchez

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 28: Gary Sanchez
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 28: Gary Sanchez /

The Yankees’ 8-4 triumph over the Twins in Tuesday’s AL wild-card game progressed much like an exhilarating roller coaster would.

The Twins silenced adrenaline-filled Yankees fans with a first-inning, three-run onslaught. But Didi Gregorius countered by clubbing a three-run homer to tie the game. Then New York took the lead in the second, and Minnesota evened it up in the third.

Finally, the Yanks broke it open with their bats and clamped the win, thanks to some exceptional bullpen work.

The game was loaded with on-the-edge-of-your-seat scenarios. But one moment, in particular, left Yankees catcher Gary Sánchez breathless.

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In the top of the sixth, with a runner on second and two outs, reliever David Robertson had a full count against Twins’ second baseman Brian Dozier when he spun a tight 85-mph curveball. Little did Sánchez know where that pitch would strike.

Dozier took a hack and nicked the ball just enough to redirect its trajectory in a split-second. As a painful result, “El Kraken” took the pitch’s full force right in the cracker-jacks. He immediately dropped to the ground, rolling around in agony.

Robertson, who eventually completed 3 ⅓ scoreless innings, watched the event unfold with horror, clearly concerned for his battery mate.

Of course, we make wisecracks about it now — even Sánchez and his teammates laughed it off later — but watching the play live, it was no joke. That type of injury is nothing to take lightly because of its potential to be life-altering.

Luckily for Sánchez and the Yankees, he recovered after a couple of minutes and stayed in the game. He later singled in his final at-bat and caught the final pitch to clinch New York’s entry into the American League Division Series.

Next: Yankees' WC win a perfect example of '17 season


Game 1 of the ALDS takes place Thursday at 7:30 p.m. ET and will be aired on FS1. Right-hander Trevor Bauer (17-9, 4.19 ERA in the regular season) takes the mound for the Indians. Meanwhile, New York will hand the ball to Sonny Gray (10-12, 3.55 ERA).