HOUSTON — The Yankees went into Saturday night’s seventh game of the ALCS trying for a first in the series: the visiting team winning a game.
Has it simply been a case of neither team handling the noisy crowds pulling against them?
“It’s hard to say, because I always found when you’re locked in, you didn’t really hear them anyway,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said a few hours before Game 7 at Minute Maid Park. “But I think it’s just the comforts of home; just the familiarity of being at home more than the crowd noise, in a sense.”
Girardi said in the case of his players, there’s plenty of familiarity with facing hostile crowds on the road during the regular season. “We’re used to it, I think,” he said. “There’s a lot of places that we go where we’re used to this, kind of a rough crowd.”
That said, Girardi added that the home crowd can have an impact. Astros players freely admitted that the unrelenting noise of Yankee Stadium got to them in Games 3-5, all Yankees victories, and said they’ve been boosted by the noisy support at home.
“I think you can feed off of it,” Girardi said. “But I think playing in our division helps us in these situations.”
Before Saturday’s game, home teams had won 22 of 30 games during the 2017 postseason in both leagues.