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Isiah Kiner-Falefa will “overcome” the defensive crisis

CHICAGO — Isiah Kiner-Falefa had three errors — plus another error that was ruled a hit — in his last two starts from shortstop before the Yankees’ game Saturday night against the White Sox.

Manager Aaron Boone, however, isn’t worried about the Kiner-Falefa defense.

“He’s so dynamic and athletic, he’ll pull through,” Boone said. “The pieces he didn’t make [Friday] evening, he must do them.

Kiner-Falefa had only made two errors all season until his recent problems on the pitch and Boone acknowledged that players can falter defensively.

“You can get into little funks,” Boone said. “I think he has the ability to shake it up, partly because of his athleticism. He plays the position with speed. You can see the speed and quickness of his footing and it serves him well.

Isiah Kiner-Falefa fails to play at shortstop.

Boone again mentioned what he considered the “soft” field at the guaranteed rate field, noting that both teams faced some tricky jumps on Friday.

“You have to get around that and make your own hops,” Boone said.

After an inconsistent start to the season on offense, the Yankees entered Saturday having hit an MLB record 48 homers — in part because they hit eight home runs in their previous two games.

The push was led by Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton, who hit 12 and 10 homers on Saturday.

“When they’re playing like that and we get input from the rest of the roster, that’s when we’re at our best,” Boone said. “It’s good to see them getting consistent strikes and doing damage when they have a throw to deal with.”

Along with Anthony Rizzo’s nine homers, the Yankees had three of the top seven homers in the majors.

“We’ll take that,” Boone said of the stat.

They also ranked first in the majors in OPS (.755) and slugging (.430).

“It’s an important part of the game,” the manager said of the power. “We definitely have guys who can kick the ball out of the stadium.”

Giancarlo Stanton, left, celebrates with Aaron Judge after hitting a home run.
Giancarlo Stanton, left, celebrates with Aaron Judge after hitting a home run.
Getty Images

And it shows that while there is greater diversity within the Yankees roster, they are still built primarily on power.

“One of the exciting things we talked about at the start of the season was how many ways we were able to win ball games,” Boone said. “Low scoring, defending, throwing and kicking out of the stadium. The fact that we’ve done well the last two nights, you just hope that continues to give us confidence that we can win in different ways.

And they entered Saturday unbeatable when their attack clicked: 15-0 when they scored at least five points.

The first inning Gerrit Cole allowed on Friday came on a scrap, when he turned to throw first and no one was covering the sack.

Boone blamed it for “poor quality communication”.

“It’s something we addressed and it shouldn’t happen,” Boone said. “We have to make sure we are airtight.”

New York Post

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