Astros add RHP McHugh for ALCS against New York Yankees

Doug Mendoza
October 14, 2017

While the Astros have a pitching staff full of flamethrowers - bolstered by the addition of former Cy Young Award victor Justin Verlander in August - they have chosen lefty Dallas Keuchel, the softest-tossing pitcher on their staff (88.7 miles per hour average fastball), to start Game 1 for them Friday night, opposite Yankees right-hander Masahiro Tanaka. To hear Yankees manager Joe Girardi tell it, it was simply a matter of the Indians getting ahead in the count and putting Judge away with pitches that dotted the edges of the plate. Sonny Gray will take the mound for Game 4. As for the Astros, they come into Friday's Game 1 at Minute Maid Park on plenty of rest after winning their series against the Boston Red Sox on Monday in four games.

The Yankees begin that challenge Friday night with the start of the ALCS after rallying from an 0-2 deficit against the heavily favored Indians.

The Red Sox will counter with Drew Pomeranz, who won a career-high 17 games and posted a 3.32 ERA during the regular season. On the other hand, Aaron Judge struck out in 16 of his 20 at-bats versus the Indians.

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Yankees Relievers v. Astros Hitters: The Yankee bullpen features several really hard-throwing relievers.

"I have a ton of confidence in him", Girardi said of Tanaka. Gonzalez only hit.200 in the ALDS, but he'll get more pitches to hit than those further up the lineup and a clutch hit or two could turn the tide of the series. "And just because it's the Yankees, you get a little bit more amped and jittery". "But I think it's just a coincidence that my command and location have been better than what it usually is against them".

"We are showing what New Mexico players can do out there in the big leagues", said Houston closing pitcher Ken Giles. Keuchel is 4-2 with a 1.41 ERA in six career starts against the Bombers - and that doesn't include the lefty's six scoreless innings in the 2015 wild-card playoff game at Yankee Stadium, a start that he calls "one of the most magical times that I'll have in my career". This isn't the time to start betting against them.

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