DYK: Wild first, bullpen feats highlight ALWC

DYK: Wild first, bullpen feats highlight ALWC

The Yankees and Twins opened the 2017 postseason with a nearly four-hour battle Tuesday night in the American League Wild Card Game, in a contest featuring a combined nine relief pitchers and five home runs.

New York ultimately outlasted Minnesota for an 8-4 victory at Yankee Stadium, advancing to face the Indians on Thursday in the AL Division Series presented by Doosan.

ALDS Game 1: Thursday, 7:30 p.m. ET on FS1

Here are some notable facts and figures to know from Tuesday's game.

Date Score Highlights
Oct. 3 NYY 8, MIN 4 Watch

• The Yankees are 1-1 in Wild Card Games, having lost to the Astros in 2015. This was the club's first postseason win since beating the Orioles in Game 5 of the ALDS in '12.

• The Yankees are 13-2 against Minnesota in playoff action -- all since 2003 -- winning the last 10 games, going back to Game 2 of the '04 ALDS. That run includes the final three games in that series and three-game sweeps in the '09 ALDS and '10 ALDS.

• The Twins, appearing in the postseason for the first time since 2010, have lost 13 consecutive playoff games since beating the Yankees in Game 1 of the '04 ALDS. Of those 13 losses, 10 have come against New York.

• At 3 hours, 51 minutes, this was the longest nine-inning Wild Card Game since this postseason format was introduced in 2012. The Royals and A's played for 4 hours, 45 minutes in '14, but that game went 12 frames.

Brian Dozier's leadoff home run against Luis Severino marked the first time that the MLB postseason had ever opened with a home run by the first batter of the first game.

Statcast: Dozier's leadoff homer

• Dozier is the first player to lead off a Wild Card Game with a home run. The last player to lead off a postseason game with a homer had been Dexter Fowler for the Cubs -- in Game 7 of last year's World Series.

• Dozier also became the first Twins player with a leadoff home run in the top of the first inning of a postseason game. His was also the 30th "true" leadoff homer -- that is, the first batter of the game in the top of the first inning -- in Major League playoff history.

• A few batters later, Eddie Rosario knocked a two-run homer off of Severino, making it the first time the Twins had ever homered twice in the first inning of a playoff game.

Rosario's two-run homer

• Those were the first career postseason at-bats for Dozier and Rosario. The only other Twins players to homer in their first playoff at-bats, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, were Gary Gaetti in 1987 and Don Mincher in 1965.

• Two players had previously homered in the bottom of the first inning of the first postseason game in a season: Brady Anderson for the Orioles in 1996 (Oct. 1 vs. the Indians) and Bob Dernier for the Cubs in 1984 (Oct. 2 vs. the Padres).

• Yankees starter Severino had a tough, and short, night. He became the 32nd starting pitcher in postseason history to record no more than one out and the 19th to do so while allowing at least three runs. Only twice did the starter's team still manage to win. Most recently, the Cardinals overcame Ray Sadecki's short outing to beat the Yankees, 4-3, in Game 4 of the 1964 World Series in the Bronx.

The most recent starter to allow at least three runs and record no more than one out had been Oakland's Gil Heredia, who allowed six runs against the Yankees in one-third of an inning in Game 5 of the 2000 ALDS, which New York won, 7-5. Two Yankees pitchers had suffered that fate in the postseason, most recently Art Ditmar (0.1 IP, 3 ER) in a loss to Pittsburgh in Game 1 of the 1960 World Series.

Severino exits early

• With Ervin Santana only going two innings for the Twins, this was the first postseason game in which neither starter recorded an out past the second inning since Game 6 of the 2011 National League Championship Series. In that one, the Cardinals' Edwin Jackson went two innings and the Brewers' Shaun Marcum just one in a series-clinching 12-6 victory for St. Louis.

• Neither Severino nor Santana struck out a single batter. Only once in the 2017 regular season was there a game in which neither starter recorded a K -- and that came in Sunday's finale between the Dodgers and Rockies. The last time it happened in the postseason was Game 4 of the 1976 ALCS, in which the Royals' Larry Gura pitched two innings, and the Yankees' Catfish Hunter completed three.

Santana gets Sanchez to pop out

• The six runs scored in the first inning were the most under the current Wild Card format. The previous high came in 2014, when the A's scored two in the top of the first and the Royals responded with a run in the bottom of the frame. Kansas City eventually came back to win, 9-8, in 10 innings.

• Prior to the Yankees' win, teams that allowed three or more runs in the top of the first inning of a playoff game were just 5-27 in the Wild Card era, according to Elias Sports Bureau.

• The Yankees (three) and Twins (two) combined to hit five home runs, which were the most ever in a Wild Card Game under the current format. The previous high was four, set by the Pirates (three) and Reds (one) during the 2013 NL Wild Card Game.

Didi's homer ties the game

• One of those home runs, a two-run shot in the fourth inning, came off the bat of New York's Aaron Judge, extending his club's lead to three runs. Judge became the first Yankees rookie to homer in the postseason since Hideki Matsui in Game 2 of the 2003 World Series against the Marlins.

Must C: Judge's first playoff HR

• Yankees reliever David Robertson took over from Chad Green with one out in the third and went a career-high 3 1/3 innings. His previous career high of 2 2/3 innings came this season, on Sept. 11 against the Rays. Robertson twice had pitched two innings in the postseason, most recently for the Yankees in Game 3 of the 2012 ALDS against the Orioles. The veteran righty also set a career high -- regular season or postseason -- with five strikeouts.

Robertson became the first Yankees reliever to strike out five or more over at least 3 1/3 scoreless postseason relief innings since Mariano Rivera in Game 2 of the 1995 ALDS against the Mariners.

Robertson's heroic relief

• Between Green (2 IP), Robertson (3 1/3 IP) and Tommy Kahnle (2 1/3 IP), this was the first time that a team had three relievers each throw at least two innings in a nine-inning postseason game since the 2003 Yankees did it in Game 5 of the World Series against the Marlins (Jose Contreras, Chris Hammond and Jeff Nelson).

Aroldis Chapman threw three ninth-inning strikeouts, giving the Yankees' bullpen 13 K's over 8 2/3 innings. Chapman whiffed Robbie Grossman, Dozier, and Jorge Polanco with pitches of 102.8 mph, 103.0 mph and 103.7 mph, respectively. The last of those was the hardest third strike of 2017 (breaking Chapman's own record) and the hardest pitch thrown in any postseason game since Chapman hit 104.2 mph in '10.

Chapman finishes off WC Game

Andrew Simon is a research analyst for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AndrewSimonMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.