The Yankees did crush a pitcher with a 1.80 ERA against them in Corey Kluber, but the advantage that Keuchel has over Kluber is that he had previously faced and beaten the Yankees in postseason.
"Now we are just hours away from the Astros and another big challenge". Keuchel enters Friday's game with a sterling 1.24 career ERA against the Yankees, which is best among active pitchers with at least five starts against them.
"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. The Dodgers would tie them for the latter mark if they got into the Series and lost it this year.
Dallas Keuchel will start Game 1 of the ALCS Friday night, and Altuve couldn't have been more pleased. "They have been able to go out there and perform", Beltran said.
When ALDS hero Didi Gregorius was hurt to start the season, they thrived. That was mostly thanks to Aaron Judge's prowess, but when he slumped badly after the All-Star break, they picked him up and did so again in the ALDS. "He goes beyond just hitting and defense, he gives you little details that really help you to keep getting better and develop into the game". He got to the World Series once, in 2013 with the St. Louis Cardinals when they lost to the Boston Red Sox in six games. Judge can be incredibly hot, but right now he is incredibly cold.
"Carlos has been in the league for 20 years and he knows a lot", Altuve said. In particular, it will bear watching how a Yankees bullpen loaded with hard-throwing relievers fares against an Astros offense that mashed heaters to the tune of.301/.373/.525 during the regular season. Right-hander Justin Verlander will start Game 2.
The American League Championship Series gets started tonight in Houston, with the AL West champion Astros hosting the wild-card Yankees. The Yankees' hopes lie in keeping games close and turning them over to what is probably baseball's best bullpen. They know what pitch they're looking for, and, when the see it, they swing. "Houston, all year long, led by [Jose] Altuve and [Carlos] Correa, those type of players have been just wonderful at putting those runs on the board and punishing mediocre pitching".
McCann said facing the Yankees in his first ALCS doesn't make the experience any more special than it already is.