Published: Fri, October 13, 2017
Sport | By Gary Shelton

Fresh Start For Yankees In First ALCS Since 2012

Fresh Start For Yankees In First ALCS Since 2012

HOUSTON | Carlos Beltran and Brian McCann spent most of the previous three seasons as teammates with the New York Yankees, and while there got to see the birth of those baby Bronx Bombers they will now face in the AL Championship Series. They went on to take the series.

The best-of-seven series will feature the two highest-scoring offenses in baseball this season - with the Astros' 896 runs representing the most by any team in almost a decade - as well as the two bullpens with the highest strikeout rates in the game.

"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.

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". Even if they lost Game 4, his ace Kluber would pitch Game 5. But Judge has had a tough time, going just 1 for 20 with 16 strikeouts in the five-game win over Cleveland. "I think he's a tremendous talent and one swing can change the course of the game". Power in terms of homers, as the Yankees and Astros were number one and number two in the majors, respectively, in home runs this season. "And that should be no surprise to anyone". That's seven homers allowed in his last 10 innings.

"We hand him the ball and the entire room knows we have a chance to win", Astros manager A.J. Hinch said of Kuechel. "I think certain veterans on the team steer them in the right direction, too, like CC Sabathia". They're aggressive on the base paths so you have to control that.

Possible conflict between Boy and Girl Scouts
Les Callette said it's not just about the awards, however. "This is a win-win situation for the youth of America", he said. The larger Cub Scout packs will have the option to remain single gender or welcome both genders.

The choice of Keuchel to start Game 1 was an easy one, especially after the Astros needed Verlander for 40 pitches in relief in their decisive Game 4 win at Boston on Monday. He got a win as a starter and one in relief against Boston, giving up three runs in 8 2/3 innings.

"It's just been a culmination of command, location, maybe a little more confidence", Keuchel said of his success. "But when I was behind the scenes and got to see these young guys play, perform and the way (Aaron) Judge came out this year, it's no surprise they're in the position they're in". Every member of that quintet ranked among the top 12 relievers in baseball this season in strikeout rate, with Betances - who isn't being used in high-leverage spots these days due to command issues - leading the way, at 15.08 whiffs per nine innings. Game 1 of the NLCS is scheduled to begin Saturday when Chicago visits Los Angeles. That made him 3-0 with a 2.29 ERA in four postseason appearances with three starts.

But Tanaka didn't survive the second inning May 14 against the Astros, who just got through knocking around Red Sox starting pitching for 16 runs in 11⅔ innings over four games. "There's a lot of weapons down there for Joe [Girardi] to use, and our players know that". Do the same against the Yankees and the Astros will feel ready to validate an exceptional regular season into a franchise-first championship.

"The game, it's going to knock you down". Adam Eaton ranks first (.426). We're about to find out.

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