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October 18, 2017

AJ Hinch

New York, New York- postgame 5

New York - 5, Houston - 0

Q. Any concerns from the way the Yankees' bats hit Dallas tonight? Did that surprise you?
A.J. HINCH: They're pretty good, so it doesn't surprise me that they put up good at-bats. They've been putting up pretty good at-bats, certainly the last couple of games here.

They've hit some pretty good pitches. I thought Sanchez chests hit a good slider, Judge hit a pretty good cutter, Didi, on his last pitch, hit a pretty good pitch, as well.

The Yankees are a good team. So it doesn't surprise me they put up a good fight.

Q. You only had a couple of runners reach third base, no one scored. Any considerations to altering the lineup for Game 6?
A.J. HINCH: We'll talk about today's game. I'll talk about Game 6 tomorrow?

Q. How different do you think everything will feel just getting home and playing in your own ballpark with your own fans?
A.J. HINCH: It will be great. There weren't a lot rooting for us here. I think getting home will be good for us. We'll have an off day tomorrow, and then get to play in front of our home crowd. Every home team has won this series, if that trend continues, we'll be in pretty good shape.

A.J. HINCH: For Dallas? It was more about them hitting good pitches. He got under duress early, they got a two-out base hit to score a run. Once you get behind in the playoffs, you have to be pretty perfect, at least it feels that way.

He didn't pitch poorly by any means. He made some pitches that got hit when they had some big opportunities.

So for us, I think we've seen him get out of a lot of those jams, the rolling base hit up the middle, the base hit down the line.

Q. I know you don't want to talk about Game 6 tomorrow, Verlander has been so good in his career in elimination games. What do you think bringing that kind of experience into Game 6 will mean for you guys?
A.J. HINCH: Obviously I'll talk about Game 6 tomorrow.

Q. Have you been surprised at all about the quality and depth of their starting pitching this Series?
A.J. HINCH: Coming in, their bullpen was so much more heralded than the starting rotation, and the starters have really stepped up against us and made good pitches. We've lost a little bit of our offensive adjustments and a little bit of our offensive mojo. And some of that is the anxiety that gets created around at-bats. Some of that is them executing pitches.

Tanaka tonight was good. I thought he was good in Game 1, as well. He changed his game plan, threw a few more splits today, some finish fastballs, which are rare for him, he's usually a secondary pitcher late in at-bats.

For them, CC had a good game, Tanaka has done well twice, Sonny threw well last night. Again, they're pretty hot and certainly played well these last few games.

Q. Just to go further just on the offense, how concerning is this that the bats are struggling so much, is there an approach against Tanaka that you saw?
A.J. HINCH: It's rare, because of how much offense we put up through the first six months of the season and even in the Division Series. We've swung the bats very well and to this day I believe we're one good game coming out of it.

We're going to go home. We hit well. We get a day off tomorrow, which is probably the most important thing, and try to make some offensive adjustments.

The playoffs, as we talked earlier today about advanced scouting and exposing weaknesses, if they get you to crack a little bit outside of your game plan then they've got you. We haven't stayed in our game plan quite well enough to make adjustments.

Getting pull happy against Tanaka hurt us. And as the game went on you could feel the sort of game shortening. And as they separated it made it difficult for us to come back.

Q. What do you think, 36 hours from now, what will your message be?
A.J. HINCH: It's pretty obvious. We've got to play Game 6. And so the message to this team is going to be keep fighting the fight. This Series isn't over. This game is. We're going to get back to Houston and get to an off day with our families and come back ready to play.

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