|NY YANKEES ( TANAKA )|
HOUSTON ( KEUCHEL )
|AL Championship Series - Best of 7 - Game 1|
|901||NY YANKEES||+170||Ov 8.5,+105||+165||Ov 8,-110|
|902||HOUSTON||-180||Un 8.5,-125||-175||Un 8,-110|
|vs Left-handed Starters||24-23||-3||25-21||5.1||0.253||0.332||0.409||0.741||4.2||0.229||0.294||0.364||0.658|
|Past 7 Games||4-3||+1||3-4||4.3||0.206||0.287||0.366||0.652||3.4||0.173||0.252||0.288||0.540|
|vs Right-handed Starters||81-38||+25.2||58-55||5.5||0.283||0.339||0.467||0.806||4.2||0.236||0.305||0.395||0.699|
|Past 7 Games||5-2||+2.6||3-3||4.9||0.289||0.354||0.439||0.793||4.1||0.261||0.319||0.406||0.725|
|10/5/2017||GRAY(R)||@ CLEVELAND||BAUER(R)||0-4||L||125||8.5 un||U||3||6||0||5||7||0|
|10/6/2017||SABATHIA(L)||@ CLEVELAND||KLUBER(R)||8-9||L||210||7 un||O||11||7||3||9||8||2|
|10/11/2017||SABATHIA(L)||@ CLEVELAND||KLUBER(R)||5-2||W||180||7.5 un||U||8||6||0||5||4||3|
|10/13/2017||TANAKA(R)||@ HOUSTON||KEUCHEL(L)|| |
|10/14/2017||SEVERINO(R)||@ HOUSTON||VERLANDER(R)|| |
|10/16/2017|| ||HOUSTON|| || |
|10/17/2017|| ||HOUSTON|| || |
|9/29/2017||MORTON(R)||@ BOSTON||FISTER(R)||3-2||W||-110||10 un||U||6||6||0||5||5||1|
|9/30/2017||MCCULLERS JR.(R)||@ BOSTON||POMERANZ(L)||3-6||L||-110||9 un||P||8||7||0||10||7||0|
|10/1/2017||MCHUGH(R)||@ BOSTON||VELAZQUEZ(R)||4-3||W||-130||8.5 ov||U||8||7||1||7||5||1|
|10/8/2017||PEACOCK(R)||@ BOSTON||FISTER(R)||3-10||L||-125||9.5 ov||O||13||10||2||15||7||0|
|10/9/2017||MORTON(R)||@ BOSTON||PORCELLO(R)||5-4||W||-120||10.5 un||U||12||13||0||9||6||1|
|10/13/2017||KEUCHEL(L)||NY YANKEES||TANAKA(R)|| |
|10/14/2017||VERLANDER(R)||NY YANKEES||SEVERINO(R)|| |
|10/16/2017|| ||@ NY YANKEES|| || |
|10/17/2017|| ||@ NY YANKEES|| || |
|NY YANKEES: 2016: 84-78, fourth place
Manager: Joe Girardi (10th season)
Who's new? 1B/DH Chris Carter, 1B/LF/DH Matt Holliday, RHP Aroldis Chapman
Who's gone? 1B Mark Teixeira, C Brian McCann, RHP Nate Eovaldi, RHP Kirby Yates, RHP Anthony Swarzak, RHP Nick Goody, RHP Blake Parker
Projected lineup: LF Brett Gardner (.261, 7 HR, 41 RBI, 16 SB), CF Jacoby Ellsbury (.263, 9, 56, 20), C Gary Sanchez (.299, 20, 42 in 53 games), DH Matt Holliday (.246, 20, 62 with Cardinals), 1B Greg Bird (did not play in 2016), 2B Starlin Castro (.270, 21, 70), 3B Chase Headley (.253, 14, 51), RH Aaron Judge (.179, 4, 10 in 27 games) or Aaron Hicks (.217, 8, 31), SS Tyler Wade (.259, 5, 27 at Double-A) or Ronald Torreyes (.258, 1, 12)
Rotation: RH Masahiro Tanaka (14-4, 3.07), LH C.C. Sabathia (9-12, 3.91), RH Michael Pineda (6-12, 4.82), RH Luis Severino (3-8, 5.83), RH Chad Green (2-4, 4.73) or RH Adam Warren (4-2, 3.26) or RH Luis Cessa (4-4, 4.35) or RH Bryan Mitchell (1-2, 3.24 in five games)
Key relievers: LH Aroldis Chapman (4-1, 1.55, 36/39 SV), RH Dellin Betances (3-6, 3.08), RH Tyler Clippard (3-6, 3.57), LH Tommy Layne (2-0, 3.38), LH Chasen Shreve (2-1, 5.18)
Hot spots: Fifth starter and right field. The starter's competition is not urgent ' the Yankees have five off-days in the first month of the season ' but it's interesting nonetheless. Green, Cessa, Warren and Mitchell combined to make 22 major league starts last season. None had an outstanding spring training, so the Yankees might choose to divide the load again. Some will go to Triple-A, others to the bullpen. Someone named Aaron (Judge or Hicks) will be the Yankees' right fielder this season. If either falters, Tyler Austin or Rob Refsnyder could seize their at-bats.
Outlook: The Yankees will employ fewer past-their-prime position players in 2017 than any season this decade. Is their next generation of homegrown talent ready to take over? Sanchez is the most advanced prospect ' the catcher hit 20 home runs in 53 games as a rookie ' but beyond him lies several question marks. Greg Bird, Clint Frazier, Gleyber Torres, Judge and Austin (who was stalled in camp by a foot injury) will get a chance once they're ready. The pitching staff is led by Tanaka and the ferocious bullpen combo of Chapman, Betances and Clippard. But depth is a real question mark, and there are no blue-chip prospects at Triple-A waiting for their moment.
|HOUSTON: 2016: 84-78, third place
Manager: A.J. Hinch (third season)
Who's new? RF Josh Reddick, CF Carlos Beltran, LF Nori Aoki, C Brian McCann, RHP Charlie Morton
Who's gone? C Jason Castro, INF Luis Valbuena, OF Colby Rasmus, RHP Doug Fister
Projected lineup: CF George Springer (.261, 29 HR, 82 RBI), 2B Jose Altuve (.338, 24, 96, 30 SB), SS Carlos Correa (.274, 20, 96, 13 SB), DH Carlos Beltran (.295, 29, 93 with Yankees and Rangers), C Brian McCann (.242, 20, 58 with Yankees) or Evan Gattis (.251, 32, 72), 3B Alex Bregman (.264, 8, 34 in 49 games), RF Josh Reddick (.281, 10, 37 with A's and Dodgers), 1B Yulieski Gurriel (.262, 3, 15), LF Nori Aoki (.283, 4, 28 with Mariners)
Rotation: LH Dallas Keuchel (9-12, 4.55 ERA), RH Collin McHugh (13-10, 4.34), RH Mike Fiers (11-8, 4.48), RH Lance McCullers (6-5, 3.22), RH Charlie Morton (1-1, 4.15 in four games with Phillies)
Key relievers: RH Ken Giles (2-5, 4.11, 15/20 SV), RH Luke Gregerson (4-3, 3.28, 15/21 SV), RH Will Harris (1-2, 2.25, 12/15 SV), RH Chris Devenski (4-4, 2.16), LH Tony Sipp (1-2, 4.95), RH Michael Feliz (8-1, 4.43)
Hot spots: Fifth starter and catcher. Hamstring issues limited 33-year-old Morton to four starts with the Phillies last season. That didn't stop the Astros from signing him to a two-year contract worth at least $14 million. Now, veteran Fiers and 24-year-old Joe Musgrove are on the bubble for the fifth starter's job. McCann and Gattis give the Astros a pair of veteran catchers with slugging potential. McCann has fewer weaknesses behind the plate; Gattis is the better all-around hitter. With Beltran aboard as the primary designated hitter, McCann and Gattis won't both be in the lineup on most nights.
Outlook: After slipping to third place in the AL West last year, the Astros' front office decided to double down on dingers rather than upgrade a rotation that lacks a true ace. The result: A lineup with eight potential 20-home run hitters, including possible MVP candidates in Altuve and Correa. Everyone returns from an impressive young bullpen with high strikeout potential. If the Astros are in contention by the trade deadline, the front office should have the financial flexibility to add a front-line starter. Then again, if Dallas Keuchel looks like the pitcher who won a Cy Young Award in 2015, Houston might not have a problem.
|Astros hope Keuchel continues success vs. Yankees|
HOUSTON -- It was difficult to determine whether Astros left-hander Dallas Keuchel was entertained or exhausted by the number of times he was asked the same question on Thursday, a query seeking perspective on his career success against the New York Yankees.
"I've been asked that question like 10 times already," he said with an indecipherable smile.
Keuchel is 4-2 with a 1.41 ERA over six career starts against the Yankees, against whom he will start in Game 1 of the American League Championship Series on Friday at Minute Maid Park. He has totaled 45 strikeouts against only six walks over 44 2/3 innings vs. New York.
In his lone postseason start against the Yankees, Keuchel twirled six shutout innings with seven strikeouts in the 2015 AL wild-card game, a 3-0 Astros victory at Yankee Stadium.
On May 11, he limited the Yankees to five hits, one walk and one unearned run with nine strikeouts over six innings in a 3-2 victory.
Combine those performances with his routinely splendid work at home, and a picture develops as to why Astros manager A.J. Hinch is confident handing Keuchel the ball for the opener. Keuchel, meanwhile, boiled his consistency down to exceptional pitching unrelated to the opponent.
"It's not just because it's the Yankees," Keuchel said. "I think it's just been a culmination of command, location, maybe a little bit more confidence. And just because it's the Yankees you kind of get a little bit more amped and a little more jittery because it is the pinstripes and such a storied organization.
"But I think it's just a coincidence that my command and location have been better than what it usually is against them."
By winning the AL Division Series over the Boston Red Sox in four games, the Astros set the stage for their desired matchup. Keuchel was slated to start Game 5 before the Astros rallied to a 5-4 victory on Monday at Fenway Park. That result allowed Hinch to rejigger his rotation, flipping Keuchel and right-hander Justin Verlander, who started the opener against Boston.
"Dallas Keuchel has been remarkable as an Astro, he's been remarkable in my three years here," Hinch said. "We hand him the ball and the entire room knows we have a chance to win.
"So, we're well aware he's had success against the Yankees, we're very confident in this ballpark. He's pitched extraordinarily."
Right-hander Masahiro Tanaka will get the start for the Yankees in part due to his recent success and also as a reflection of some long-term planning by Yankees manager Joe Girardi. New York advanced to the ALCS by overcoming a 2-0 ALDS deficit against Cleveland Indians, taking the decisive Game 5 on Wednesday, 5-2.
Tanaka pitched the Yankees to a 1-0 win over the Indians in Game 3 by working seven shutout innings, allowing three hits and one walk with seven strikeouts. Tanaka also twirled seven shutout frames in his last start of the regular season, defeating the Toronto Blue Jays 4-0.
By scheduling Tanaka for the opener, Girardi can also slot him for Game 5 (if necessary) at Yankee Stadium. Tanaka was 9-5 with a 3.22 ERA over 15 regular-season home starts but 4-7 with a 6.48 ERA over 15 road starts in 2017. He is 0-2 with a 10.38 ERA over four career starts against Houston.
In his lone appearance vs. the Astros this year, Tanaka allowed eight runs on seven hits in 1 2/3 innings during a 10-7 loss on May 14.
"Just going into the big game tomorrow, you don't want to sort of have that negative feeling," Tanaka said Thursday of his past struggles against Houston. "So to be honest, I really don't want -- it's not something I really want to get into. But what I can say is that I feel like I'm a different pitcher from that particular game earlier in the season."
Somewhat negating the Keuchel Effect for the Yankees is their youth movement and subsequently surprise run to the ALCS. Of the nine Yankees to record double-digit at-bats in the ALDS, only four were in the lineup against Keuchel two postseasons ago: left fielder Brett Gardner, third baseman Chase Headley, first baseman Greg Bird and shortstop Didi Gregorius.
In the interim, the Yankees added twentysomethings Gary Sanchez, Aaron Judge and Starlin Castro to positive results, though Judge struggled in the ALDS. The American League home run leader went 1-for-20 with 16 strikeouts in five games against the Indians.
"We went through some transition here where we have had an older club and ... we made some trades to improve the club, the talent level in the minor leagues," Girardi said. "And these kids have started to come up and make an impact."
|Last Updated: 2/19/2018 1:37:13 PM EST|