The Astros host the Yankees tonight (Oct. 13, 2017) in Game 1 of the American League Championship Series at Minute Maid Park. But he was quick to point out that Keuchel's success certainly hasn't been limited to games against NY. The key will be if they can get their starters to go deep into games - instead of lasting only to the third or fourth inning.
That was a series built on production from the fringes of the Yankees lineup and, considering the length of the Astros' order, a repeat could be necessary and Frazier could be that sparkplug as he has a pair of home runs off Verlander and Charlie Morton in his career. 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 have a ton of confidence in him", Girardi said of Tanaka. He struck out nine times in those at-bats. "Then after that is where it gets a little thought-provoking, I guess".
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"Oh, he's a great player, and he's been for a number of years here", Girardi said. The southpaw has a 0.96 ERA in three postseason starts in Houston, and he put together a strong outing of 5.2 innings in Game 2 of the ALCS against the Red Sox. The Astros took five of those matchups, including a comeback victory at home on July 1. He allowed just three hits in seven scoreless innings in his second career postseason game.
Astros second baseman Jose Altuve is ready to help Houston beat the Yankees after enjoying a banner year. "But I think it's just a coincidence that my command and location have been better than what it usually is against them". It will be a challenge for the 25-year-old MVP co-favorite to rediscover his swing in such a short amount of time. But Judge has had a tough time, going just 1 for 20 with 16 strikeouts in the five-game win over Cleveland. "So just keep playing my game, keep having fun. just contribute any way I can".
The Astros will send Justin Verlander to the mound in Game 2. the six-time All-Star has been near-perfect since joining Houston from the Tigers moments before the August 31 waiver-trade deadline. Tanaka isn't necessarily the best option for the Yankees, especially with his struggles on the road this season, but with the other starters in the rotation working back to full rest, he's the go-to guy for Game 1.