Liam Hendriks to ‘open’ Wild Card game for the A’s

By Vincent Frank
Sep 21, 2018; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics starting pitcher Liam Hendriks (16) pitches the ball against the Minnesota Twins during the first inning at Oakland Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

The surprising Oakland Athletics are sticking with a plan that has worked pretty well over the past several months.

The team will open with reliever Liam Hendriks on the mound in the AL Wild Card game against the New York Yankees on Wednesday.

It’s somewhat of a surprising move given that ace starter Mike Fiers would be pitching on four days rest if he were given the start. He pitched to a 5-2 record with a 3.74 ERA in nine starts with the A’s after being acquired from Detroit in August.

For his part, the 28-year-old Hendriks has opened eight games for the A’s this season. In those eight “starts,” he’s recorded a 2.08 ERA, going 8.2 combined innings in the process.

This is a clear indication that Oakland will trot out a number of pitchers against a Yankees team that finished the regular season with the most homers in MLB history.

Meanwhile, the Yankees themselves will go with a pitcher in┬áLuis Severino who posted a 6.23 ERA in two starts against the A’s this season.