Royals playoff matchup set with Houston. Former Cardinal homers for Astros

That was in large part due to the efforts of Astros ace Dallas Keuchel, who pitched six shutout innings against the Yanks. He had two relievers, Tony Sipp the left-hander, Chad Qualls the righty, warming up.

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Keuchel, 20-8 this season and pitching on three days’ rest for the first time, silenced the New York crowd of 50,000 by running his scoreless streak against the pinstripes to 22 innings in 2015. Did he think, even for a moment, that Hinch was going out to fetch his ace? That’s what happened. It was the exact right decision.

The Houston Astros showed off their maturity on the diamond but acted their age in a boisterous celebration at Yankee Stadium after eliminating their hosts 3-0 in their one-and-done Wild Card playoff game.

“But I’m extremely proud of the guys in that room”.

New York’s most conspicuous flaw is its starting rotation: Tanaka, Sabathia, Michael Pineda, Nathan Eovaldi and Ivan Nova all ailed at times.

“I wanted him to finish that at-bat”. Ellsbury remained in for the ninth inning as the Yankees’ playoff run ended shortly after it began. Even Nas would applaud that type of ether being thrown out by Keuchel.

Rodriguez said that, and all of the last week, is all in the past. Rodriguez had swung at a first-pitch fastball. I knew if I could elevate it or get it middle-in, I had a good shot to have him pop it up, and luckily that’s what he did. Keuchel responded by getting Rodriguez to fly out to center for his final out.

Masahiro Tanaka got the start for the Yankees, and the $175 million right-hander gave up two first-pitch solo home runs, one to Colby Rasmus in the second and another to ex-Met and Brian McCann’s old buddy Carlos Gomez in the fourth. “Maybe we were too banged up”, injured first baseman Mark Teixeira said. “We hit a lot of home runs, pitch well and play defense”. “We just kind of hit a wall at the end of the year”. The Royals will only see him in game three of their best-of-five series.

In a matchup of two teams that surprised many by building big division leads before wasting them late, the upstart Astros, just two years removed from an 111-loss season, looked the more comfortable team in the October limelight. “We couldn’t solve him the whole year”.

“Physically it’s not a very healthy group in there right now at the end of the season”.

Tuesday night, they were facing one of the two left-handers who will be recognized as the best pitcher in the American League.

Keuchel said he did nothing unusual in approaching the game on short rest.

“Obviously we’re not good enough right now”, Cashman said, “because we’re not playing. But that’s what we’ve been doing all year”. “I don’t know what it was”. I thought early on he was a little bit erratic. We just ran out of time. I didn’t know what to do. So I went out there for a couple of reasons.

But however, this win at Yankee Stadium for Houston Astros against New York Yankees has been simply astonishing for all the baseball fans out there.

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The orange-clad Astros, who secured their spot in this winner-take-all game on the last day of the regular season, advanced to the Division Series against the defending AL champion Royals starting Thursday night in Kansas City. Could it be their turn on the magic bus?

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