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14 October 2017, 01:13 | Lucy Hill
ALCS Game 1 Updates: Yankees Try To Keep The Magic Going
"We are showing what New Mexico players can do out there in the big leagues", said Houston closing pitcher Ken Giles.
Alex Bregman and Altuve went back-to-back off Red Sox starter Chris Sale in the first inning, and that was just the start of a rude awakening for the AL Cy Young Award candidate in his first career postseason start. "There's really not a weakness on either side".
The Yankees announced their rotation on Thursday, one day after defeating the Cleveland Indians in Game 5 of the AL Division Series.
The Yankees threw 4,826 pitches 95 miles per hour or higher, the most in the AL. Four of those strikeouts Wednesday night belonged to Judge, who hit just.050 with 16 strikeouts in 20 at-bats in the series. He's a career.325 hitter with 16 home runs in postseason, including eight in 12 games for the Astros in 2004. Here, Jeff says, the matchup favors the Astros. In other words, they've become very disciplined at the plate and are aggressive about it.
The ALCS is going to be close, but if the Astros can start strong behind Keuchel and Verlander, they could be able to take one game from Yankee Stadium and come home with a chance to clinch a World Series berth in Game 6. 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.
Keuchel shut out NY over six innings in the 2015 AL Wild-Card game and his 1.41 regular-season earned run average against the Yankees is the best of any starter in the last 60 seasons with a minimum of six starts. "I mean, especially now seeing me and Bregman having so much success they are going to be more blocks of scouts going down there to find some talent", said Giles.
"Just because it's the Yankees you kind of get a little more amped and a little more jittery because it is the pinstripes and such a storied organization", Keuchel said. The Yankees' last ALCS appearance was in 2012.
Starting for Houston in Game 2 opposite Severino will be veteran Justin Verlander, who the Astros acquired late in the season from the Detroit Tigers.
Verlander may be the one who gets them there. "There's a lot of weapons down there for Joe [Girardi] to use, and our players know that". He defeated the Yankees in the 2015 AL Wild Card game with six scoreless innings. 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.
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