James Paxton– Yankees manager Aaron Boone to keep him in the game and face Chirinos in a big spot. The loud out capped a six-inning, one-run, nine-strikeout performance by “Big Maple.”
It was less the pitch than the exchange that earned Paxton his Yankee moment.
The fans knew just how big a spot it was: Yankees leading in a must-win game, Astros threatening. The building erupted as Boone walked back to the dugout with the big left-hander still on the mound. Paxton had been granted his opportunity.
Boone’s decision seemed like a simple one to make, but the skipper felt less a little secure about it for the next few moments.
The old “how you feeling” mound visit from Aaron Boone! I love these! Paxton is DEALING, and the crowd is LIT! pic.twitter.com/6ReynyTt85
— Kyle ⚾️ (@KyleNYY) October 19, 2019
“Yeah, just seeing the ball almost in slow motion, feeling like it’s coming in down and in right into the hot zone. And I’m like, ‘Oh,'” Boone said after the Yankees stayed alive in the ALCS with a 4-1 victory over the Astros in Game 5. “But fortunately, it stayed in the ballpark.
“I felt good about the decision,” Boone continued. “Again, I felt like he was good. I felt like the matchup was right. But definitely when it first left the bat, (I thought,) ‘Oh, no.'”