October Confidential: Yankees

Rival players offer inside look at facing AL Wild Card winner

October Confidential: Yankees

How do you beat the Yankees? MLB.com asked rival players from around Major League Baseball to offer an inside look at how best to face the American League Wild Card Game winner, which booked a trip to the AL Division Series presented by Doosan with an 8-4 win over Minnesota on Tuesday.

Luis Severino
"You need to have your A-game. He throws hard, he has good stuff. Elite stuff. He's just one of those guys, if he's on, you know it's going to be a tough day. You have to respect his fastball. He throws it so hard. All you can really do is be ready to hit the hitter, and hopefully he makes a mistake with his slider."
-- AL outfielder

"You know what you're going to get. He forces you to commit early, for sure. The ball gets on you. I would say that slider is definitely the pitch that you have to be concerned about, but you have to see his offspeed up and his fastball down. That's really the best way to put it with him."
-- AL East catcher

Severino's terrific outing

"Obviously he's made strides from his rookie season up until now. There are some guys who light up the radar gun who throw 100 [mph] and it looks like they're throwing 92. There are some guys who throw 100 and it looks like they throw 110. He's one of those guys where the ball really jumps out of his hand and gets on you quick. If he's locating, he's lights-out, and you know it's going to be a long day."
-- AL infielder

Masahiro Tanaka
"If he's on, good luck. If he's commanding his split, keeping it low, he's going to be tough to get up in the air."
-- AL East infielder

"You really can't have a plan with him, as far as what you're going to look for, as far as a pitch. You have to look in a location with him and stay in that location. He has five, six, seven different pitches. For me, it's about picking a zone where I at least want my eyes to pick up the ball. That's all you can do with him because he has no patterns, he has no sequences. You can't sit on a pitch with him because you might never get it."
-- AL outfielder

"When he has success, I feel like you're getting yourself out. Great command, obviously, and he's making the ball move all over the place, so it's one of those things where you're trying to get it up in the zone and out over the plate and laying off that splitty that looks good and dives last second that causes you to roll over and hit a ground ball."
-- AL infielder

Tanaka's brilliant winning start

CC Sabathia
"In big games, he turns up clutch. He's been around the game for a long time, and I think he's re-established himself this year. There were a couple years he kind of struggled a little bit, and he found his stuff again. He's a guy that I want on the mound in a big game."
-- AL Central infielder

Aroldis Chapman
"The most uncomfortable at-bat in the league. It's not close. He doesn't always know where it's going, you aren't sure where it's going. It's tough, man."
-- AL Central infielder

"Scary, man. Scary. The intimidating part about it is that he doesn't look at the plate when he throws. He's throwing harder than anyone else, but there are a lot of guys who throw hard now. You just start everything a little bit earlier, try to be a little bit shorter. The natural thing to do is want to swing harder to want to catch up. But you have to understand that he's throwing so hard that all you have to do is touch it. You just try to shorten up a little bit and get ready earlier."
-- AL outfielder

Statcast: Chapman's blazing K

Dellin Betances
"Unhittable. I'm, like, 1-for-30 off of him. It's something you don't want to be off a guy like that. Has a great curveball. Throws 100. Not a guy you want to be facing late in the game when you're down."
-- AL East infielder

"He's scary, too. There's no secret with him. If his command is on, he's elite. When his command's off, as a hitter, it can be quite intimidating. But he's a guy who you definitely have to pick a pitch. You're either going to hit his fastball or his curveball -- you're not going to hit both."
-- AL outfielder

"Any time a guy is throwing near 100 mph and can flip you a slider that's just as wicked at any point, that really makes it a challenge."
-- AL East catcher

"If he's in the zone, he's really tough to hit, but he's also hit or miss. Do we have to go up there being aggressive? Or do we have to go up there looking to make him work and throw strikes? It's one or the other with him. He'll show you what kind of pitcher he's going to be that day by the first batter. But he obviously has plus stuff, and his resume speaks for itself."
-- AL infielder

Betances holds the lead in 8th

Aaron Judge
"Dangerous hitter. Really good mistake hitter, but if you make quality Major League pitches, you can get him out."
-- AL East pitcher

"You've really got to be sure you're executing your pitches to get him out, but even then, as typical power hitters do, they make you pay for your mistakes."
-- AL East reliever

"I think you've got to show him in, then spin him away. To finish him, elevate."
-- AL East setup man

deGrom fans Judge to end the 1st

"Everybody has holes and everybody has different holes off who's on the mound. That kind of dictates it a lot of the time, but the holes he may have, he's also hit balls 500 feet on at some point. If you run into a situation where he's looking for that pitch, you're in trouble. That's the type of player he is. He's a scary at-bat and he's a difficult out. Certainly if you make your pitches and he ends up hitting a single, a lot of times you feel pretty good about that. He's a great player."
-- AL East catcher

"I think the biggest thing from him that stands out is his leverage. It seems like because of his length he's able to get off the plate, able to get a couple inches off, a couple of inches in, on both sides. So it really makes it feel like you have to execute your pitch to try to get a mis-hit. It just seems like he has good coverage, but you know he's also going to strike out a lot. It kind of depends on where you're at in the game, what the situation is. Generally, you're trying to get early outs, but when you get to two strikes in a big situation, you're definitely looking for that strikeout with him."
-- AL starting pitcher

Gary Sanchez
"Same kind of thing as Judge, but he's a little more selective. Once you get him swinging, he's going to stay swinging and then you can expand."
-- AL East pitcher

"He's talented, and maybe the best catcher in the division. He's got a certain arrogance about it, though."
-- AL East infielder

"I always just two-seam him in, then spin him away."
-- AL East setup man

"I think 'patiently aggressive' is the best way to describe him. It always seems like he's looking for his pitch, or he has an idea of what pitch he wants and he goes into an at-bat trying to attack that pitch. Of course, he's got a lot of power, too, so he's a guy who can do a lot of damage."
-- AL starting pitcher

Statcast: Sanchez's 439-ft. HR

Didi Gregorius
"He's a tough one because he's changed a lot over the years. Before you could bounce stuff out of the zone and get him to swing, but now he's kind of grown up a little bit. He does most of his damage down in the zone. I think hard elevation is better, and then expand after that."
-- AL East pitcher

"Didi is just a good all-around hitter. He's shown more power this year and is another guy that's a very difficult out. He can spray the ball all over the park."
-- AL East reliever

Gregorius' four-hit game

Starlin Castro
"He sort of gets overshadowed by some of the other guys in that lineup, but he can hurt you. He's had some injuries this year, and that bat is hot and cold. When he's locked in, he's a threat. You have to hope he's in a rut and you can take advantage."
-- AL East infielder

"Another guy with a lot of pop. He likes to take big swings but makes you pay for mistakes. He has a really has a good approach and makes really solid contact all the time."
-- AL East reliever