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October 5, 2019

Aaron Boone

New York, New York - postgame 2

Yankees - 8, Twins - 2

Q. Aaron, your team is really grinding today, seven walks. You hit the big seven runs in the third inning. How great was it to see your team grinding like that?
AARON BOONE: Great. This was big, to have the kind of night we had last night and then to follow it up today kind of supporting Masa there, who set the tone for us, and to really have that big inning and kind of take the game away, just a lot of really good at-bats. Obviously, the huge one from Didi, which was great to see. A great way to start out this series.

Q. With everything that's changed in starting pitching, if you get the chance, is it still important for you to let a guy try to qualify for a win?
AARON BOONE: Not -- it didn't factor in that much. The bottom line is, at that point, a little bit of traffic there, and I would have probably gone and gotten him. Right now, it's about us winning, and I think everyone's on board with that.

Q. Aaron, you mentioned how happy you were to see Didi get that hit. What have you seen going on with him, and what did he do in that at-bat?
AARON BOONE: Laid off a couple pitches to extend the at-bat. They've really been trying to get him to expand and chase a little bit. You know, just in that, where it's been struggling for a while, hitting gets hard, and you want it bad. You know you're working on your mechanics.

You know, I think I said before the game, sometimes it takes one at-bat or a couple of good takes or one good swing to kind of settle you down a bit, and then your natural rhythm starts to take over.

It doesn't surprise me at all. I expect this from Didi. Just when you think you've got him down, he's got a big swing on him. He got on what looked like a pitch up, maybe up and out of the strike zone, and obviously a no-doubter and a real dagger at that point. Really excited for him because I know how hard he's worked behind the scenes to kind of get it going, and obviously, he's very important for us.

Q. What is it about Tanaka that allows him to thrive under the pressure and spotlight of the postseason?
AARON BOONE: He's just really good at his craft. He understands his body, his mechanics, can do a lot of things with the ball, obviously, and I thought today was pretty sharp. I thought he threw some good splits. The slider was a real factor for him. I saw him elevate the heater a little bit at times when he needed to and gave us just what we needed and really set a good tone for us to send us off to Minnesota in a good position.

Q. Aaron, what's the message to your team being up 2-0 with a chance to make this a quick series?
AARON BOONE: Throttle down. We've got, obviously, a good flight tonight and an off day tomorrow where we'll go in and get a light workout in and try and enjoy the off day, a little recovery day, and make sure we go out and match their energy.

Obviously, first home playoff game for them, I'm sure the crowd will be energized, and we need to go match it, and I know we will. I know the guys, it will be throttle down, and hopefully we can go get one.

Q. Aaron, what does it mean to a manager at this time of year to have trust when they hand the ball to a starter? And what is your level of trust with this specific starter with Tanaka because of his history at this time of year?
AARON BOONE: Obviously, he's had a really good history in the postseason and a really good history as a pitcher, in general. Before he got here and over here, he's been highly successful. But, yeah, I know he's going to go out and command it, fill the strike zone. And when he has both of his secondary pitches going, then he can be really tough, obviously.

So I always feel good when we're giving the ball to Masa, and I feel like he's in a pretty good place here after one start now in the postseason.

Q. Aaron, can you talk about the circumstances now -- kind of following up on Joel's question, the circumstances that would be afforded for Severino now in Game 3. He's got some momentum with the team behind him, and you've got a fully rested bullpen going into that game.
AARON BOONE: Yeah, with an off day, obviously, we'll have all kinds of fire power ready to go Monday in Minnesota and look forward to seeing Sevy go out there and hopefully really be on the attack and continue to build off of what he's done since he's come back. We feel like he's throwing the ball incredibly well and know what he's capable of when he's on top of his game, and that's the expectation and looking forward to seeing him go out there.

Q. Aaron, Edwin Encarnacion got you on the board first in both games, and he looks really locked in. Can you talk about what his presence means to the lineup?
AARON BOONE: It's huge, man. He's such a good hitter. He's so hard to get through. It's a heavyweight fight getting him out, and even when you do get him out, it's work. It's hard. Obviously, he's so dangerous with his power, too. He's been huge. I think him in the middle of the order just kind of settles everything in and makes us really hard to get through, time and time again, and he's right in the middle of that.

Q. Aaron, your pitching staff has held down a pretty powerful lineup the last two games. How much you think is that just execution by the guys, and how much is having the extra time that you referenced a couple of days ago to prepare for a group like this?
AARON BOONE: Yeah, hopefully, that's part of it. I think getting out to some leads and getting some guys in there, but I feel like the guys are, from a frame of mind standpoint, locked in and know where they have the best chance to be successful. I feel like the game plans have been good and executed and kind of carried out by Gary behind the plate. Then by and large, those guys have come in and really been able to slam the door.

When the offense is doing what it's doing, I think it allows and gives the pitchers even greater confidence just to really go in and be on the attack.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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