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AL CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES: YANKEES VS ASTROS


October 16, 2017


A.J. Hinch


New York, New York- postgame 3

New York - 8, Houston - 1

Q. How do you explain how CC was so effective against your lineup tonight?
A.J. HINCH: CC was really good because he didn't make a lot of mistakes. We swung a little bit to the margins on the outside of the strike zone a little bit.

But he can pitch with the elevated fastball. He's got a pretty good breaking ball, especially when he gets you in the swing mode. We were a little swing happy tonight against him and he took advantage of being able to pitch to the outer parts of the strike zone.

He pounded some of our righties in very well, especially with Correa at bat with the bases loaded.

He's really evolved as a pitcher. Strikeouts have been up lately. You can see why, because he can really get you to elevate your eye level on the fastballs up, and then finish you with breaking balls down.

Q. Your Game 4 starter?
A.J. HINCH: We do; McCullers.

Q. What's your thinking there?
A.J. HINCH: He's really good.

Q. How important is it what you got out of McHugh tonight in his saving of the bullpen?
A.J. HINCH: It was good. Collin had pitched very well coming down the stretch. He's a good matchup with these guys, could spin his breaking ball tonight on a cold night to pitch. And really saved our pen. It hasn't been taxed. We only used Giles out of the pen until tonight.

We just couldn't get back in the game. Obviously two big innings that really did us in tonight, and they hit the ball out of the ballpark with the Judge home run. Frazier's one-arm swing got the ball to carry to the right field. So McHugh to come in and be able to save and not have to empty our tank going into the next couple of games was big.

Q. Play in left field on Bird's fly ball, should he have caught that?
A.J. HINCH: I don't know. I didn't see it, the angle wasn't great where I was at. It looked like he was on track to catch it. And then he pulled up to keep the ball in front. Obviously he's not expecting it to bounce high and hard and into the stands.

But it would have been a great play to make it, based on the angle that I had. But it's hard to say. Initially when he was tracking it I thought he was going to have to make a sliding catch or a diving catch or some great catch. But when he conceded the ball in the dirt instead of the grass, it obviously led to the ground ball double.

Q. What can you expect out of McCullers, given the crazy month he's had?
A.J. HINCH: Well, I think that's the unknown. He's a really good pitcher. He's got really electrifying stuff, some of the best stuff in the Big Leagues.

Getting him in a normal routine, normal warmup into the game, big-time breaking ball, the whole league knows it, he's got a really good fastball. He had a really good bullpen in between his last outing and the next outing tomorrow.

We'll Peacock in the pen, we'll have a couple other guys available in the pen. So we can piece it together. But it starts with setting the tone with Lance McCullers. I don't have to remind all you guys, he was an All-Star to start the year, he has some of the best stuff in the big leagues and we believe in him.

Q. It looked like Harris shook off Gattis a couple of times before the Judge home run. Did you see that?
A.J. HINCH: I didn't see the shake. He made a pitch that he was convicted in, it just went to the dangerous part of the strike zone for Judge. Obviously the curveball down in the dirt created a lot of momentum in that inning. The big swing and miss on the fastball cutting away from him was a good pitch.

And Judge did what Judge has done 50-plus times, which is hit the ball out of the ballpark when he gets a pitch to hit. Big moment won by Judge. It was his night. He played defense tonight. He did a lot of things well for them. And really was a big difference in the game.

Q. Looked like Frazier was really out of balance when he hit that home run. Did it surprise you that that ball went out?
A.J. HINCH: I don't know a lot about Yankee Stadium, we only come here once a year. And it was cold. Some balls later in the night looked like they were hit pretty well, Correa's ball to centerfield was hit pretty well, Yuli's ball to right field was hit pretty well. Frazier's was hit just a little bit better.

That inning, Charlie had a lot of bad luck tonight. That infield single to start, a soft single to centerfield by 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 centerfield 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.

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