Back in Yankee Stadium last night, the New York Yankees avoided falling behind 3-0 in the ALCS with an 8-1 win over the Astros after they’d dropped the first two games of the series in Houston. Joe Girardi was asked what it was about Yankee Stadium, where the Yankees were 51-30 (vs 40-41 outside of the Bronx) this season, that allowed them to play so much better than they have on the road.
“We're somewhat built for this ballpark, No. 1,” Girardi said. “No. 2, you're familiar with it. You're familiar with everything that you do on a daily basis. You have your routine and you're able to be in your routine. I find that baseball players like routine. We're told where to be all the time. Whether it's in Spring Training, this is what time we report, we have BP, this is what time we meet. I think the routine is normal for them and I think it helps.”
The energy in Yankee Stadium probably helps as well, Girardi noted.
“I think that's the importance of playing at home,” he said. “I think that's why we've had such a good home record is the normal routine, our players are used to this field. They know how to hit here, and our fans. Our fans are great. I'm watching them in the first inning in left field and they're banging on the wall. And I love it. It's great to see.”
Astros’ skipper A.J. Hinch was asked about playing in a ballpark that allows a player, like say Todd Frazier, to throw his bat at a pitch outside and flick it out to right field for a ridiculous, off-balance, three-run blast like he did in the second inning of last night’s game, though, you know, the uh, Crawford Boxes and all...
“I don't know a lot about Yankee Stadium,” Hinch said. “We only come here once a year.
“And it was cold. Some balls later in the night looked like they were hit pretty well.
“[Carlos] Correa's ball to centerfield was hit pretty well, Yuli [Gurriel’s] ball to right field was hit pretty well. Frazier's was hit just a little bit better.
“That inning, Charlie [Morton] had a lot of bad luck tonight. That infield single to start, a soft single to centerfield by [Aaron] Hicks, and then Frazier. I'm not even sure that was a strike. I haven't seen it on the video. It was an awkward swing. He did that in Houston with the one-arm swing that went up in the left center field wall in our place.
“Obviously a strong man, right place in the ballpark. The ball popped off his bat. I was surprised that ball went out, only because of his swing type. As far as where it carries in the ballpark, you guys have been here more than I have.”
The Astros are in Yankee Stadium again tonight with Lance McCullers, Jr. on the mound against Sonny Gray in Game 4 of the ALCS.