Houston announced earlier in the week that left-hander Dallas Keuchel was its Game 1 starter. And when they meet in the American League Championship Series, beginning Friday night at Minute Maid Park, it may be the most extreme collision of power versus power the sport has ever seen.
Jose Altuve just hit his second home run.
The Astros are in the championship series for the first time since 2005.
The stakes: The Yankees haven't played in the ALCS since 2012, an eternity when measured in Steinbrenner Years. In Game 4, their pitchers' fastballs averaged a staggering 98 miles per hour, never once dipping below 96 - and that was with Chapman, who sometimes touches 102 and 103 miles per hour, not even participating.
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"Extremely talented offensively", Girardi said of the Astros. The Yankees' full lineup looks like this: Brett Gardner LF, Aaron Judge RF, Gary Sanchez C, Didi Gregorius SS, Starlin Castro 2B, Aaron Hicks CF, Greg Bird 1B, Holliday, Todd Frazier 3B.
This was all part of a master plan for the Astros, mixing the young players they got when things weren't going well, with veterans like Carlos Beltran, Brian McCann, Reddick, and the ultimate in "go-for-it" gets, Justin Verlander.
"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. These are the guys that got them here, and they're the ones who will take them beyond. "There's a lot of weapons down there for Joe [Girardi] to use, and our players know that". Jeff says this is a longer series than the five-game ALDS. 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.
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The Nationals chose between Gonzalez and Tanner Roark , who ceded his Game 4 start to Stephen Strasburg on Wednesday. In Saturday's outing, Gonzalez allowed three hits and had three errors in five innings before getting substituted.
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