MINNEAPOLIS — When Yankees beat reporters walked into Aaron Boone’s office about two hours before Monday night’s ALDS Game 3, they saw the manager sitting behind his desk in near darkness.
Only the television showing the Braves-Cardinals NLDS Game 4 provided light.
“It always does here,” Boone said of the power outage, “so we're used to it.”
It’s not a power outage in the traditional sense of the phrase, though. A quirk of the visitor’s clubhouse area at Target Field, which opened in 2010, is that when the hitters or pitchers go into a certain room for their pregame meeting, turning the lights on in that room darkens other rooms. That includes the clubhouse. . . and the manager’s office.
Which, Boone said with a smile, doesn’t impact his team’s preparation at all.
“No,” he said. “We know when they go in for the hitters' meeting, something with the use of power, the lights go off in certain areas. My office, for one. So it kind of goes in and out a little bit.”
It happens every postseason — bullpen implosions by multiple teams, though it rarely has happened to the Yankees over the years. Boone, a baseball junkie who watches all of the postseason games, has one of the sport’s best bullpens, if not the best, at his disposal.
“It's certainly one of the major strengths of our club,” he said. “And, you know, obviously, we have a lot of confidence in those guys down there. And they know how important they are to what we do. And if we're going to go far in this, they're going to play a huge role. So It's definitely nice knowing that you can turn to the guys. They're very good at what they do.”
Aroldis Chapman pitched all of 4 1/3 innings in September, not anything close to an ideal number for the closer, who acknowledged that he had some concerns about being sharp heading into October.
“It crosses your mind, right? You've got to pitch to stay sharp,” Chapman said through his interpreter. “But every day I went out and I did my work. I was doing it with a purpose to stay sharp because that's your job. You've got to stay sharp, so you've got to find a way to do whatever you can to stay ready.”
Not planning ahead, but …
Boone said before ALDS Game 3 that if Game 4 became necessary, James Paxton was one option he might turn to, as was Chad Green, who would be utilized in the opener role he excelled in all season.