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Dillon Lawson on why Yankees hitters aren’t changing approach

by NYPost
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Dillon Lawson on why Yankees hitters aren’t changing approach

After Yankees hitters struck out 30 times in the first two games of the ALCS and Giancarlo Stanton said following Game 2 that the offense might need to change its approach against the Astros, hitting coach Dillon Lawson said that was not the answer.

“We’re not gonna go in there and develop some new skill,’’ Lawson said before Game 3 in The Bronx on Saturday. “That time has passed. This is about execution.”

Once again on Saturday, the Yankees’ offense didn’t execute, and they lost to the Astros, 5-0.

In fact, they put up one of the worst performances in postseason history, with just three hits — a fourth-inning double by Stanton and a pair of two-out singles in the ninth by Matt Carpenter and Harrison Bader.

That came after they had a total of nine hits in the first two games.

Gleyber Torres walks to the dugout after striking out during the Yankees' 5-0 ALCS Game 3 loss to the Astros.
Gleyber Torres walks to the dugout after striking out during the Yankees’ 5-0 ALCS Game 3 loss to the Astros.
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Going back even further, the Yankees have been held to six hits or fewer in 10 consecutive playoff games, dating to Game 5 of the 2020 ALDS. During that span, they are hitting .159 (49-for-309).

In eight playoff games this year, the Yankees are hitting just .161 (40-for-249), which is higher than just one team this postseason (the Rays hit just .115 in their wild card loss to Toronto).

For a team designed to hit homers, the Yankees’ power has been largely absent. They entered Saturday with a .590 OPS, ahead of just Tampa Bay, Cleveland and St. Louis, all of which were knocked out by the end of the ALDS.

Nevertheless, Lawson won’t be dissuaded from his approach.

“Our strengths are gonna be our strengths,” he said. “And those are that we have power and we don’t chase.”

It’s a philosophy from which Lawson said he has not wavered despite the team not hitting much during the postseason.

“We built things during the season and we’re not gonna try to develop new strengths this series,’’ Lawson said.

“What makes our offense really good is dictating counts,’’ said Matt Carpenter, who went 1-for-4 in the loss. “We get ahead and pitchers are afraid to come in the zone. We get walks and baserunners and that leads to damage. You look at the at-bats in this series and it’s 0-1, 0-2 on everybody. You’ve got to give them some credit. I know no one wants to hear it.”

An offense built around the home run hasn’t hit one in two games, while Houston has had key blasts in all three.

“Everyone needs to go deep diving on what we need to improve on,’’ Aaron Judge said.

But one more loss will end their season.

“We’re running out of time,’’ Carpenter said. “We’ve got to find a way as a group to win some games.”

“The playoffs [are] hard, man,’’ manager Aaron Boone said prior to the game. “And we’re up against probably the best pitching staff there is going right now, so there’s going to be some bumps in that. We’ve gone up against [Justin] Verlander [and] Framber [Valdez]. We’ve gotten two runs in each game. It hasn’t been quite enough. It’s hard this time of year. You’ve got to just keep powering through it, game plan as best as you can.”

This story originally appeared on NYPost

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