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October 12, 2019

AJ Hinch

Houston, Texas - postgame 1

New York - 7, Houston - 0

Q. What was Tanaka doing so well to keep you guys off-balanced? Looked like his slider was especially good tonight.
AJ HINCH: I think everything was pretty good tonight. That's probably the best that we've seen him in a small sample to execute his game plan, his pitches, his tempo. Just about everything was working for him. We couldn't create a ton of traffic for him. When he did, he got some double plays. He was just really, really good tonight.

Q. What made Torres such a tough out tonight?
AJ HINCH: He didn't miss any pitches. Just looked like he was locked in on pitches, whether he sort of looked at the right location, right spot. He did get the bloop single at the end, which was well placed. But the home run, the double was key. That was a fastball that wasn't supposed to be where it ended up, and he didn't miss it, which is why he's one of the better hitters.

Q. Another case where Pressly gave up multiple hits in an inning. Was it opportunistic hitting by the Yankees or problems with his recovery?
AJ HINCH: Well, his first two hitters were exceptional. I think he got the ground ball, then he got the punch-out. They just did a ton of damage with two outs. He couldn't get out of the inning. LeMahieu with a nice base hit. They were conceding power a little bit for putting up pretty good at-bats and they ambushed him a couple of hits in a row. Then had the long at-bat with Torres and he ended up winning it.

It was just a tough battle at the end. If he gets Torres out we walk away with a really good inning, despite the pitch count and having to fight through just a really good lineup. They're hard to get three outs against sometimes.

Q. Bregman getting doubled off in the fifth, is that an aggressive mistake, a good play by Judge or a little bit of both?
AJ HINCH: Probably a little bit of both. But in a game like this, you've got to be sure. The ball was hit so hard, I think he was surprised. One of the things they did that I noticed was they positioned their guys really well. They were in the right area at the right times, especially in the outfield. Even in the infield, when they shifted, Yuli got the base hit. It was going to be a base hit in the hole and Didi was standing right there. So their positioning was really good tonight.

I think the ball was hit so hard and Bregman was trying to get off and if the ball gets past him he wanted to make sure that he got at least to third if not to home.

It's an aggressive mistake when you make an out with the bases and he didn't have to.

Q. Your team is so good here in this ballpark. Do you think an opponent has to do what they did today, with very aggressive first pitch strike, throwing and very aggressive early in the count against a guy that's not going to walk them like Greinke?
AJ HINCH: Well, I think the general answer is you have your approach against the pitcher that you're facing, or you have your approach against the lineup.

The Yankees, they can come at you in a lot of different ways. So I don't really care what venue you're at, they have their approach. And they did a few things today that they don't normally do. You have some judgment up there, swung at the first pitch. And that's a rarity.

Zack was going to pound the strike zone, and he did. Zack was really good. At the end he got a couple two-strike and two-out hitting, that's where the Yankees really broke through, separating themselves a little bit.

But I don't really think the venue matters as much as the matchup of how they felt like they had to come in and piece together some hits, and they did. And they hit the ball out of the ballpark. Stanton hit the ball out to right center, Torres hits the ball in the Crawford Box. They continued coming at you, which is why they're good.

Q. I know you've seen a lot of good pitching through this postseason thus far and you guys have put up runs all year. Are you reaching a point now where you have to guard against your guys getting frustrated just because they aren't seeing the runs going up?
AJ HINCH: No, we're trying to win the series. I think our guys are ultra focused on the right things. And certainly you have to make sure they don't try to do too much, and don't start chasing or don't start expanding the zone against these good pitchers. Paxton is going to come in tomorrow with a high-end fastball and some pretty good secondary pitches. We just have to keep the zone shrunk where we're controlling the strike zone a little bit.

We don't have time for frustration. This is a series that you just got to -- they threw the first punch Game 1. We get to the next day. We can punch right back tomorrow. I don't think they're going to be too comfortable tomorrow coming to the ballpark thinking they've got an easy game ahead of themselves.

Q. Talk about the Bregman double play.
AJ HINCH: Which of the three? There were three.

Q. Any concerns just after Greinke came out just with some of the bullpen. I know this has been kind of an issue, but what did you see?
AJ HINCH: I saw some good at-bats, I saw us not being able to close out innings when we had opportunities. So anytime they're able to separate themselves a little bit. And then I got Abreu in there, he made some really good pitches, he made some mistakes, he gave up a walk, or a couple of them actually, and then Rondón came in to clean up his inning.

I think it's important not to overreact to anything, and credit the Yankees for having a really good first game. We'll see them tomorrow.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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