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October 13, 2019

Aaron Boone

Houston, Texas - postgame 2

Houston - 3, New York - 2 (11)

Q. Just discuss lifting Paxton so early and the decisions that created for the rest of the game?
AARON BOONE: Just felt like we were covered as far as today with getting some length and having guys rested. Obviously going into an off day tomorrow we're just going to be aggressive. Thought he was struggling with his command. And it ends up -- doesn't end well.

But I thought as far as pitching-wise we did a good job of holding them down.

Q. Between pulling Paxton early, you had the infield in in the second inning, as well, is that a sense of urgency because Verlander is on the mound or is there some other calculus involved there?
AARON BOONE: We usually play it like that most all the time. Certainly Verlander being on the hill, runs are going to be tough to come by. More often than not I'm going to play that really aggressively.

Q. What do you see out of Ottavino right now, and how important is it for you guys moving forward to get him back on track?
AARON BOONE: He got ambushed on a first pitch strike slider and then after that weak contact and a punch-out that gets by that gets on. So no real issue.

I thought he was aggressively attacking the strike zone tonight. I thought he threw the ball well. He's going to be very important for us in this series, especially with all their right-handed hitters. I think you look at how he threw the ball tonight, I thought he threw it well.

Q. Do you consider at all, even though it went well, once you remove a starter that early it could start a chain of events where if you got to extra innings you're not using your traditional leverage guys?
AARON BOONE: You're playing it to win the game. You're not playing it to -- what if we go 13, you know? You're playing it to what gives us the best chance to win here. And the bottom line is we end up giving up a third run in the 11th inning. I'd say from a run prevention standpoint it went pretty well.

Q. The play at the plate where Correa throws out LeMahieu, what did you think of the play he made?
AARON BOONE: I thought it skipped off further, and I was an absolute send from where I was standing, I'm right behind third base there. Great heads up play by Correa, to be in that position, to catch it clean, and then obviously with his arm to throw a strike home. So I had no issue with the play at all.

Q. Just with your lineup in general and Gary, specifically?
AARON BOONE: I mean, it was a struggle tonight. They are the Houston Astros and they're tough to score runs off, especially on a night when Verlander is out there.

So they held us down tonight and that's going to happen. We know this isn't going to be an easy series by any means. But over time I'll take our guys and their approach, and tonight they just did a better job of holding us down.

As far as Gary goes, especially on that last at-bat, I thought he battled and had a lot of good swings within the at-bat, probably got rung up on a pitch. But I felt like he had some quality swings tonight, just not getting a lot of results right now.

Q. Paxton had an issue with tipping his pitches earlier against the Astros. Is that something that surfaced again tonight?
AARON BOONE: I mean, I don't think so. We're pretty vigilant on that stuff.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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