The Yankees fell into a two-game hole in the ALCS with a 3–2 loss to the Astros on Thursday night. New York once again struggled to put the ball in play, striking out 13 times, and failed to capitalize with runners in scoring position, going 1-for-4 in such scenarios.
However, manager Aaron Boone appeared to add another excuse for the Game 2 loss during his postgame press conference: the open roof at Minute Maid Park in Houston.
Boone specifically referenced a deep fly ball hit by Aaron Judge in the top of the eighth inning. With a man on, the Yankees slugger smashed a ball to right field, but Astros outfielder Kyle Tucker was able to make the catch at the wall.
Boone explained after the game that he thought the wind—a product of the open roof—kept Judge’s fly ball in the park.
“Who would have thought, I think the roof open kind of killed us,” Boone told reporters, per SNY. “I think it’s a 390[-foot] ball. … I didn’t think he smoked it like a no-doubter, but it felt like his homers to right.”
Though Boone’s advocacy for his team isn’t entirely surprising, Judge’s fly ball would’ve only been a home run in one ballpark, according to MLB.com’s Sarah Langs: Yankee Stadium.
Boone and the Yankees should at least get the benefit of home field advantage for the next three potential games, but will need to improve upon their performance at the plate. More so than the open roof, New York has struggled to put the ball in play, having struck out in 30 of their 70 plate appearances (42.9%) and tallying just nine hits through two games.
The Yankees will try to get back on track Saturday when the series swings to the Bronx for Game 3. First pitch is at 5:07 p.m. ET.
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