ALCS Game 1: Masahiro Tanaka to start for New York Yankees vs
14 October, 2017, 01:13 | Author: Wilson Dawson
But he was quick to point out that Keuchel's success certainly hasn't been limited to games against NY. Right-hander Justin Verlander will start Game 2. In an era in which the strikeout is king, Keuchel is a throwback - a sinkerball specialist whose groundball rate of 66.8 percent was by far the highest in the game this season among pitchers with at least 100 innings pitched.
"I know there's a confidence level", Hinch said. He struck out nine times in those at-bats. "And just because it's the Yankees, you get a little bit more amped and jittery".
"For that win in the wild-card game, it wasn't just special for me and the validation, it was special for everybody to go into NY and play that well", he said. That's seven homers allowed in his last 10 innings. The Astros took five of those matchups, including a comeback victory at home on July 1.
"His stuff was great the other day, he's had some really big starts, his last two starts have been outstanding", manager Joe Girardi said. "I was so excited and I was like, 'OK, here we go.' It's not a secret that we had a good team before him, before trading for him, but after we did that it's like, 'OK, now we go, now we got everything we need.' And I was really happy we got him".
And assuming Astros second baseman Jose Altuve and Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge are the top two finishers in the AL MVP race, it will mark the fourth ALCS in the past 25 years to feature both the MVP and runner-up.
Altuve has kept up his blistering pace in the postseason, where he's hitting.533 with three homers and four RBIs. It's not a stretch to imagine this series being decided by what happens when the Yankees' powerful bullpen goes to work against the most relentless offense in the game. I think when you look at them it's a complete lineup throughout.
He gets the matchup against Verlander in Game 2, and after he "tested negative for David Price Syndrome", in the words of the New York Post's Kevin Davidoff, in his seven-inning, 113-pitch performance in Game 4 of the ALDS at Yankee Stadium - thereby consigning to the dustbin his meltdown in the AL Wild-Card game - it stands to reason that Severino will be the only current Yankees starting pitcher who will be counted upon when the young position core of this team reaches its prime. Houston's hasn't announced its rotation past Saturday.
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