“As far as nervous, the leadup is always anxious and a little uptight. I finally, once the game gets going, there’s some comfort in that. It’s kind of the best time of the day, frankly, when you’re in the game now and watching our guys go out and compete. You feel like all the prep work now is, Now we go. And there’s some comfort in that.” –Aaron Boone.

October 19, 2019

Aaron Boone

Houston, Texas – pregame 6

Q. With the Astros going with a bullpen day as well, what are some of the challenges and how does the preparation change going into a game like tonight?
AARON BOONE: The challenges are you’re not getting a lot of looks at one guy. They’re putting in pitchers in parts of the lineup that are designed for them to be successful. So therein lies the challenge of it.

I think our guys from a game-planning standpoint have some comfort in the fact that they’re used to it. We’ve face this quite a bit. So guys know kind of how to prepare and get ready.

But it certainly creates its challenges because they’re matching up pitchers in areas that they have the best chance to be successful in their part of the lineup.

Q. Any chance you would use Tanaka?
AARON BOONE: Probably not. I kind of view Masa more in play tomorrow. Probably not today.

Q. Would you use Severino in an emergency?
AARON BOONE: We’ll see. We’ll talk about that in the hours leading up here.

Q. What made you decide to go with Edwin Encarnacion DH’ing instead of Giancarlo Stanton?
AARON BOONE: One of those that I toiled over last night and into this morning. Feel good about both guys. Not quite ready to feel like I’m ready to G out in the field. So it’s now the DH conversation.

And still, even though Edwin has had some tough games, still feel like he’s got a chance to really impact things. Felt like I wanted him in there today and wanted to keep the infield alignment the same. So it was really just deciding between two really good players.

And in G’s case, first game back from the injury that he’s still battling with, late game, getting in in the middle of the night and stuff. So it was a decision for me, feel like there’s potentially a big spot for him off the bench still. And the good thing is that it’s a tough decision because I’ve got two really good players.

Q. Starting Chad was pretty elementary. Did that require a lot of thought?
AARON BOONE: We debated a little bit but it all came back to Greeny. So obviously it’s something he’s done quite a bit this year, he’s comfortable with it. Feel like he’s throwing the ball well. So hopefully he can get us going on a good note.

Q. With Green, do you have a certain number in your mind pitch count-wise as far as how far you would push him or is it a matter of just watching and seeing how strong he is?
AARON BOONE: Not necessarily a pitch count, no. Kind of a baseline of hopefully where in the order he can get through. But if he looks strong and cruising along then we’ll ride with him a little further. He’s not built up to go too, too long but hopefully he can give us a little bit of length to start things off.

Q. Aaron Hicks missed a lot of time, had a monster at-bat in Game 5. What’s impressed you about how he’s been able to see the ball since coming back in the short span?
AARON BOONE: The fact that he’s looked like himself and the good portion that Aaron brings. Ultimate strike zone control.

I feel like since his first at-bat when he pinch-hit here when we were here last time, I think it was Game 2, and then carried it right into now, the games that he started, I feel like the quality his at-bats have been there. And I feel like physically he’s moving around well. I feel like he’s moving well in the outfield, and I think clearly a guy that likes playing in these games that mean a little bit more.

Q. What are the biggest challenges of managing a bullpen game especially on a night where there’s so much urgency as tonight?
AARON BOONE: Just knowing you’re going to use a lot of guys and trying to get guys in parts of the lineup where they have a chance to be the most successful, period. We feel good about our guys and if they throw the ball the way they’re capable of, that they can go out and be successful.

But the biggest challenge is trying as best you can to be disciplined to getting them into the part of the game where you want them in and not necessarily where you need them in.

Q. You and AJ Hinch know each other pretty well. And this is kind of a unique situation, both of you guys are doing the same thing in this game. Is there a part of you when you’re making decisions, I know what he’s thinking, he knows what I’m thinking, that kind of back and forth?
AARON BOONE: Honestly, I don’t really get that involved in it like that or think about it that way. Kind of consumed with what we’re doing. I mean, you’ve got to be certainly aware of, Hey, might they hit for this guy in this situation? So you try and think along in that regard based on what you’re doing and the moves we’re making.

But I don’t think it gets too deep as far as — because of our relationship.

Q. You’ve obviously spent a lifetime in the game, in a very traditional baseball upbringing. The idea of two teams doing a bullpen game with such high stakes just a few years ago would have been just about unthinkable. Do you think it’s better for the game, more interesting, more efficient way to win or do you ever think, how did we evolve this game to this point?
AARON BOONE: Right. It certainly can be. Both teams are doing it because we think it gives us a better chance to win. Obviously some of it’s out of need where we’ve had some guys that have started for us this year that aren’t available.

So I don’t get too caught up — I’m on the side of things where we’re trying to win. We’ve seen firsthand going back to when Tampa started doing this last year how effective it can be and how much of a challenge it can be. And we feel like we have the pieces that have a chance to have a lot of success with it and hopefully we can tonight.

Q. Is your team nervous, anxious, are you nervous, anxious? How would you portray what you’re feeling and how you feel your team is feeling?
AARON BOONE: I think our guys are good. We wanted to make sure we got on that plane last night; we did. And I’m confident we’ll come in here and go play our game and enjoy doing it.

As far as nervous, the leadup is always anxious and a little uptight. I finally, once the game gets going, there’s some comfort in that. It’s kind of the best time of the day, frankly, when you’re in the game now and watching our guys go out and compete. You feel like all the prep work now is, Now we go. And there’s some comfort in that.

Q. Did the loss of CC impact the matchups you see for Happ in that you might move him into some of the spots where you’d see a matchup for CC? Or is Happ still kind of in his own little lane there?
AARON BOONE: No, I think we — there’s some similarities between the two that we saw in this series as far as the occasional one off where they’re facing one-hitter, one lefty hitter, but also there are some lanes where they can give us some length. Probably feel like J.A. can go more hitters at this point from where CC was before he got hurt.

But viewed them both a little bit similarly.

Q. So that doesn’t change or limit Happ’s length that you might ask him —
AARON BOONE: No, no, we feel like there’s some spots for Happer tonight that he can go in and be effective for us.

Q. A lot of your guys, including Aaron Judge, have described this season if you don’t make it to the World Series it’s a failure. Is it?
AARON BOONE: I hate that question. Not because you asked, not like that. I mean, we’re — I know as an organization myself, our players, we’re chasing a championship and we’re doing everything we can. We want to be champions. So that’s the goal. That’s the focus.

Putting a label, success, fail, all that, I don’t really have time for it, honestly. We’ve got to go get a win tonight and that’s the focus. I’m proud to go compete with those guys every day. I reject it a little bit but I don’t really get caught up in the question, either. It’s full steam ahead, let’s go.

Q. With the Astros starting Peacock tonight, any advantage for you guys, since you saw him just about 20 hours ago?
AARON BOONE: Well, I hope so. Look, we know he’s a good pitcher, he’s a guy that’s pitched well in the postseason for them in the past. Obviously has dealt with some injuries this year. Hopefully a little bit of the familiarity of a few of our guys seeing him helps a little bit. But I don’t necessarily think that plays in.

Bottom line is it’s about execution and your being disciplined as a hitter and him on the mound making pitches. That will kind of determine it, if we take advantage of mistakes or if he executes pitches, that usually determines who’s going to come out on top.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

ASAP sports

ALCS GAME 6: Brad Peacock will open for Astros in a bullpen game: “We decided to go with Peacock just because their lineup is really good at the top, and Brad’s really good at matching up against those guys. And he’s got one of the calmest heartbeats in our club. He’s kind of been there, done that. He’s closed games in the World Series. He’s pitched in a variety of roles for us. The moment is not going to be too big. He can execute pitches. I thought the way he threw the ball last night in the eight pitches was encouraging. And who better to kick off the chaos of a bullpen day than a calm Brad Peacock.” –AJ Hinch

41 RHP Brad Peacock O.OO ERA (0ER/1IP), 1G

Last Win: — Save: 2017 WS (3) Loss: — Blown SV: –2019 ALCS: 0-0-0, 0.00 (0ER/1IP), 1G Postseason Career: 0-0-1, 4.73 (7ER/13.1IP), 8G

• made his first postseason appearance in Game 5 of the ALCS…tossed a scoreless 8th inning with 1 strikeout on 8 pitches.

• is on the Astros ALCS roster after not making the ALDS roster…did not make the Astros postseason rosters in 2018, but was a key factor in Houston’s 2017 World Series run…pitched in 7 games (1 start) in the 2017 postseason.

• pitched in 4 games in the 2017 World Series, posting a 2.45 ERA (2ER/7.1IP) with 8 strikeouts…tossed a 3.2-inning save (no hits allowed) in Game 3, the longest save in the World Series since Madison Bumgarner’s 5-inning save in 2014.

• over his career (including postseason) has held righties to a .198 (211×1065) batting average…held right-handed hitters to a .179 (32×179) batting average and a .553 OPS (.251 OBP/.302 SLG) this season.

ALCS GAME 6: Chad Green will be the opener for Yankees.

57 CHAD GREEN—RHP • Has made the postseason for the third time in his career (2017-19)…has allowed just 3ER over his last 15.2IP in the postseason (12K)…ALDS: earned his second career postseason win in ALDS Game 3 at Minnesota…struck out four batters in 2.0IP in his playoff debut in 2017 AL Wild Card Game win vs Minnesota, becoming the fi rst Yankee to strike out his fi rst four playoff batters faced. • Made 39 relief appearances and 15 opening assignments in 2019…the Yankees went 11-4 when he opened, his fi rst starts since June 2017…had 98K, falling 2K short of his second career 100K season (103K in 2017). • Over his fi nal 11 appearances in 2019, struck out 34 batters with just 6BB in 17.2IP. • Had three appearances with at least 4K and no base runners, tied for the Major League lead (also John Brebbia, Josh Hader and Drew Pomeranz)…has seven such games since the start of 2017, trailing only Hader (8) for most in the Majors.

EPISODE TWO: The Yankees trail Houston in the 2019 ALCS, three-games-to-two… won Game 5 at Yankee Stadium on Friday after losing three straight (Games 2-4)… the winner will advance to face the Washington Nationals, who swept St. Louis in 4G in the NLCS… continue the series with Game 6 tonight in Houston.

Marks their 17th trip to the ALCS, the most all-time (for full list, see p. 143 of Yankees’ 2019 Postseason Media Guide or p. 350 of 2019 Media Guide)… have advanced in 11 of their 16 ALCS, but have been eliminated in their last three trips

Trail, 3-2, in a best-of-seven series for the 10th time in franchise history… are 6-3 in Game 6 when down, 3-2, and have come back to win two series (won Games 6-7 on the road in both): 1958 World Series vs. the Milwaukee Braves and 1952 World Series vs. Brooklyn… is their second time trailing, 3-2, in the ALCS, also 2010 ALCS vs. Texas (lost Game 6).

Tonight marks the Yankees’ second potential elimination game of the 2019 postseason (1-0 in 2019)… over the last three postseasons, are 6-2 in potential elimination games, including 1-1 on the road.

ALCS GAME 6: Tonight’s game will be a bullpen game for both teams, with the Astros bullpen being headlined by a trio of RHP Joe Smith (1ER/4.1IP), RHP Will Harris (0ER/4.1IP) and RHP Roberto Osuna (1ER/6.2IP) this postseason.

1 IF CARLOS CORREA .184 (7×38), 2 HR, 6 RBI 2019 ALCS vs. NYY: .211, 4×19, 2HR, 5RBI ALCS Career: .292, 19×65, 3HR, 11RBI 2019 ALDS vs. TB: .158, 3×19, RBI Postseason Career: .256, 42×164, 10HR, 30RBI

• went 1×2 with 2 walks in Game 5 of the ALCS.

• went 1×5 with a 3-run home run off Chad Green in ALCS Game 4…at 25 years and 24 days old, became the youngest player in MLB history to reach 10 career postseason homers, surpassing Albert Pujols

. • went 2×5 with 2 RBI and a walkoff solo home run in the 11th inning off J.A. Happ in the Game 2 of the ALCS…marked his 2nd career postseason walkoff hit, also Game 2 of the 2017 ALCS vs. NYY (walkoff double)…became the 3rd player in MLB history to record multiple walkoff hits in the League Championship Series, joining David Ortiz and Bernie Williams…joined Ortiz as the only players in MLB history with multiple walkoff hits against the Yankees in the postseason.

• became the 4th Astros player to record a postseason walkoff HR, (last, Chris Burke in Game 4 of the 2005 NLDS vs. ATL)..also became the 2nd player with multiple walkoff RBI in the postseason in club history, joining Denny Walling.

• has 30 RBI in the postseason, the most in Astros history.

• in his career against the Yankees (including the postseason), has hit .314 (49×156) with 11 doubles, 11 HR, 32 RBI and a .972 OPS in 41 games…batted .333 (9×27) with 3 doubles, 1 HR and 3 RBI in the 2017 ALCS vs. the Yankees.

• his 10 HR and 30 RBI in the postseason rank 2nd by a shortstop in MLB history, behind only Derek Jeter (20 HR, 61 RBI)…tied Albert Pujols and Mickey Mantle for the most postseason HR by a player prior to turning 25 years old (8HR)

Tonight’s game 6: The Astros will take another shot at closing out the Yankees tonight in Game 6 of the 2019 ALCS, which is the third postseason meeting between the two clubs in the past five years (also, 2015 WC, 2017 ALCS)…

Tonight’s game will be a bullpen game for both teams, with the Astros bullpen being headlined by a trio of RHP Joe Smith (1ER/4.1IP), RHP Will Harris (0ER/4.1IP) and RHP Roberto Osuna (1ER/6.2IP) this postseason.

Game 6 history: Tonight marks the Astros sixth Game 6 in club history, in which they’ve gone 2-3 so far…two of those came in 2017, in the ALCS vs. NYY (7-1 win) and in the World Series at LAD (3-1 loss). championship series history:

This marks the Astros third straight trip to the ALCS and their seventh appearance overall in a League Championship Series (1980, 1986, 2004-05, 2017-19)…they are the first team to advance to three straight ALCS since the 2011-13 Tigers, a team also fronted by RHP Justin Verlander…this series is a rematch of the 2017 ALCS, won by the Astros in seven games, with all seven games won by the home team. one win away: A win tonight would advance the Astros to their third World Series appearance in franchise history and their second in the last three seasons, having reached the series in 2005 and 2017…the Astros lost the 2005 World Series in four games to the White Sox, while the 2017 club defeated the Dodgers in a thrilling seven games

. Astros up 3-2: This marks just the Astros fourth 3-2 lead in a best-of-seven series in franchise history, also reaching this point in the 2004 NLCS (STL), the 2005 NLCS (STL) and the 2017 WS (LAD)…the Astros lost the 2004 NLCS, but won the 2005 NLCS in six games and the 2017 WS in seven. vs. the Yankees: The Astros and Yankees have formed a solid rivalry in recent years, as the two clubs have met in the postseason in three of the last five seasons…Houston dispatched New York in the previous two occasions, winning the 2015 Wild Card Game in New York and winning the ALCS in seven games in 2017…the Astros went 4-3 against the Yanks in the 2019 regular season, 3-0 at home and 1-3 in the Bronx.

BRUINS AT MAPLE LEAFS NOTES: Frederik Andersen is 11-2-0 with a 2.42 goals-against average and a .927 save percentage in 13 career regular-season appearances against Boston.

BOSTON BRUINS (5-1-1 – 11 Points) vs. TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS (4-3-1 – 9 Points)

OCT. 19, 2019 ▪ 7:00 PM EST

SCOTIABANK ARENA (TORONTO, ON)

▪ TV: SPORTSNET/HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA ▪ RADIO: SPORTSNET 590 THE FAN

MAPLE LEAFS HISTORY versus BOSTON

ALL-TIME RECORD: 277-298-98-10 ALL-TIME at HOME: 173-110-51-3 2018-19: 1-3-0 LAST 5: 2-3-0 LAST 10: 6-4-0

MAPLE LEAFS CAREER LEADERS versus BOSTON

GAMES: Jason Spezza (60), John Tavares (34), Cody Ceci (21) POINTS: Jason Spezza (51), John Tavares (27), Mitch Marner (18) GOALS: Jason Spezza (18), John Tavares (14), Mitch Marner (5) ASSISTS: Jason Spezza (33), Mitch Marner (13), John Tavares (13) PENALTY MINUTES: Jason Spezza (33), Martin Marincin (10), John Tavares (10)

MAPLE LEAFS – BRUINS TEAM STATS

TORONTO BOSTON

GOALS FOR (Rank): 31 (t-2nd) 19 (t-19th)

GOALS AGAINST (Rank): 27 (t-22nd) 13 (2nd)

POWER PLAY %: 7/26 26.9% 8/21 38.1%

PENALTY KILL %: 21/26 80.8% 18/21 85.7%

SHOTS (Rank): 277 (t-4th) 214 (19th)

5-on-5 SHOT ATTEMPTS FOR (Rank): 371 (2nd) 255 (20th) 5-on-5

SHOT ATTEMPT % (Rank): 55.3% (4th) 50.0% (15th)

FACEOFF % (Rank): 53.0% (4th) 49.9% (t-16th)

MAPLE LEAFS – BRUINS NOTES

  • Tonight’s game marks the 675th meeting between the Maple Leafs and Bruins.
  • – The first matchup between the franchises took place on December 3, 1924 when the Toronto St. Patricks defeated the Bruins by a 5-3 score in Toronto.
  • – The Maple Leafs have a record of 277-289-98-10 in the previous 674 matchups between the clubs.
  • – The Maple Leafs have a record of 173-110-51-3 in 337 games played in Toronto and a record of 104-179-47-7 in 337 games played in Boston.
  • – Toronto’s last win over the Bruins in Toronto came on November 26, 2018 (Toronto 4, Boston 2).
  • Frederik Andersen earned his first win as a Maple Leaf against Boston on October 15, 2016.
  • Kevin Gravel scored his first career NHL goal on February 23, 2017 vs. Boston as a member of the Los Angeles Kings.
  • Michael Hutchinson was originally selected by the Bruins in the third round (77th overall) of the 2008 NHL Draft. He later earned his first career win on April 10, 2014 against the Bruins as a member of the Winnipeg Jets.
  • Alex Kerfoot scored his first career goal on October 11, 2017 vs. the Bruins as a member of the Colorado Avalanche.
  • Mitch Marner recorded his first career NHL point with a goal on October 15, 2016 vs. Boston.
  • Nic Petan made his NHL debut on October 8, 2015 at Boston as a member of the Winnipeg Jets and recorded his first career NHL point with a goal in the same game.
  • Jason Spezza made his NHL debut on October 24, 2002 at Boston as a member of the Ottawa Senators and registered his first career point with an assist in the same game.
  • John Tavares scored his 200th career NHL goal on March 12, 2016 at Boston as a member of the New York Islanders.


MAPLE LEAFS LEADERS

CATEGORY LEADER
GOALS 7 (Matthews)
ASSISTS 9 (Rielly)
POINTS 9 (Marner, Rielly)
POWER PLAY POINTS 6 (Marner)
SHORTHANDED POINTS 1 (Kapanen, Moore)
PIMs 8 (Kerfoot, Rielly)
SHOTS 34 (Matthews)
FACEOFF WIN% 63.6% (Gauthier)
5-on-5 SHOT ATTEMPT % 70.6% (Spezza)
BLOCKED SHOTS 21 (Ceci)
TAKEAWAYS 7 (Marner, Mikheyev, Tavares)
HITS 15 (Moore, Muzzin)
TOI PER GAME 24:37 (Rielly)
PP TOI PER GAME 3:01 (Matthews, Rielly)
SH TOI PER GAME 3:29 (Ceci)

MAPLE LEAFS NOTABLES

  • Frederik Andersen is 11-2-0 with a 2.42 goals-against average and a .927 save percentage in 13 career regular-season appearances against Boston.
  • Tyson Barrie has a 5-on-5 shot attempt percentage of 59.2 percent, which is the highest mark among Toronto defencemen and the seventh-highest mark among NHL defencemen who have appeared in at least five games.
  • Cody Ceci is tied for fourth in the NHL in blocked shots (21). He is tied with Morgan Rielly for the lead in takeaways (4) among Maple Leaf defencemen.
  • – Frederik Gauthier has started 4.8 percent of his 5-on-5 shifts in the offensive zone, which is the lowest mark among NHL centres who have appeared in multiple games.
  • Michael Hutchinson is 2-2-1 with a 2.25 goals-against average and a .934 save percentage in six career games against the Bruins. – Andreas Johnsson had three points (2-1-3) in four games against Boston last season. Thirty-eight (20 goals, 18 assists) of his 50 career points have come on home ice.
  • Kasperi Kapanen established a new career-high for points (1-2-3) on October 16 at Washington. He has four even-strength assists, which is tied for the fourth-most among NHL right wingers.
  • Alex Kerfoot has won 55.6 percent (20 won, 16 lost) of his faceoffs when the Maple Leafs are leading in games, which is tied for the 15th-most faceoffs wins when leading in the NHL.
  • Mitch Marner is tied for second among all NHL skaters in power play points with six (2-4-6). He is averaging 3.38 shots on goal per game through seven games this season. His career-high for shots on goal per game in a season prior to this season was 2.84 in 2018-19.
  • Auston Matthews is tied for third in the NHL in goals (7) and is tied for the NHL lead in even-strength goals (5) through seven games in 2019-20. He ranks fourth among NHL skaters in shots on goal (34). He ranks third among skaters who have taken at least 60 faceoffs in faceoff win percentage (62.3% – 43 won, 26 lost).
  • – Ilya Mikheyev is tied for second in points among rookie skaters (3-3-6). He leads all rookies who have appeared in multiple games in shorthanded ice time per game (2:34).
  • Trevor Moore is tied for the lead among NHL rookies in hits (15) and is tied for fourth among NHL rookies in takeaways (5).
  • Jake Muzzin is averaging 29.9 shifts per game, which is tied for the fourth-highest average among all NHL skaters. His 23:14 time on ice per game average is 2:00 higher than his career ice time average (21:14).
  • William Nylander has registered four (2-2-4) of his five points on home ice this season. He leads the Maple Leafs in backhand shots on goal (5) through eight games this season, which is also tied for the fourth-most backhand shots in the League.
  • Morgan Rielly is 10th in the NHL in time on ice per game (24:37). He is tied for fourth among all NHL skaters in assists (9). His 16 wrist shots are tied for the fifth-most among all NHL defencemen.
    CURRENT POINT STREAKS
  • John Tavares has goals (2) and points (3-1-4) in four consecutive games.
    RECENT MILESTONES
  • October 15: Morgan Rielly recorded his 200th career NHL assist. – October 12: Nick Shore scored his first goal as a Maple Leaf.
    UPCOMING MILESTONES
  • Frederik Andersen is two games from 200 games as a Maple Leaf.
  • Michael Hutchinson is four wins from 50 career NHL wins.
  • Auston Matthews is five assists from 100 career NHL assists.
    INJURY REPORT
  • Travis Dermott (shoulder) is on injured reserve
  • . – Zach Hyman (knee) is on injured reserve. –
  • John Tavares (finger) sustained a broken finger on October 16 at Washington.
    RECENT TRANSACTIONS
  • Oct. 14: Recalled defenceman Kevin Gravel from the Toronto Marlies (AHL). Loaned defenceman Rasmus Sandin to the Marlies.