Boone urges consistency as pressure mounts for Yankees

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Boone urges consistency as pressure mounts for Yankees
Boone urges consistency as pressure mounts for Yankees
Boone urges consistency as pressure mounts for Yankees
Reuters
New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone said on Friday he is preaching consistency at the plate despite a demoralizing 0-2 start to the ALCS on the road against hated rivals Houston Astros.

The Bronx Bombers will be relieved to be back on home turf with a rested Gerritt Cole on the mound for Game 3 Saturday in the best-of-seven playoff series, as the offense tries to regroup and keep their World Series ambitions on track.

"Hopefully he can eliminate, hold them down and get us off to a good start, and then we can do enough offensively," Boone told reporters.

"We know we're up against it, certainly, but we look forward to going out and trying to win a baseball game. That's kind of as far as we look into it."

The Yankees have their work cut out for them to reverse the momentum after the Astros threw 30 strikeouts through the first two games, an alarming statistic that Boone said was unacceptable. But he insisted the disappointing start had not prompted "a drastic change in approach."

Instead, he's working to tame nerves in the clubhouse.

"Sometimes when that narrative grabs hold and then you have had a couple of rough games... you start thinking, 'I'm going to go up there and touch the ball'," he told reporters.

"And sometimes when you get so focused on, 'I'm going to go touch the ball', you start expanding the strike zone. And when you do that against a Houston Astro pitching staff you're in trouble and you're playing into their hands."

The Yankees have never overcome a 0-2 deficit in the ALCS but have the added motivation of bad blood after the Astros overtook them en route to winning the Fall Classic in 2017, a triumph that was later tarnished amid a sign-stealing scandal.

Game 3 of the ALCS is set for Saturday at 5 p.m. ET (2100 GMT).