Fresh Start For Yankees In First ALCS Since 2012

Fresh Start For Yankees In First ALCS Since 2012

Fresh Start For Yankees In First ALCS Since 2012

Dallas Keuchel is exhausted of talking about his success against the New York Yankees.

He knows the history.

NY is set to face Houston in its first AL Championship Series since 2012, which was three years after its last World Series - that coming in Girardi's second season as manager. In beating the Boston Red Sox in four games to advance to the ALCS, they averaged six runs per game and posted an OPS of.974. Indeed, the Yankees are a better-than-usual Wild Card team by most measures. It is still uncertain if he will get an 11th year as the Yankees skipper.

Kuechel is well aware that the Astros have an opportunity for back-to-back series wins against "storied" franchises, after doing his part to eliminate the Boston Red Sox in the ALCS.

But if the Astros have never faced a bullpen such as the Yankees' - simply because one this deep and talented has never existed before this season, and these teams last met in early July - it is also true the Yankees' relievers have never faced a lineup quite like the Astros'.

The Astros have completed 55 seasons without a World Series title (since their inception in 1962), making it the third-longest drought in the majors. Houston won the season series 5-2 over the Yankees, taking two of three at home and three of four in the Bronx. Both have had big moments throughout this season and both have not forgotten where they came from.

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"His stuff was great the other day, he's had some really big starts, his last two starts have been outstanding", manager Joe Girardi said. That's the real reason fans saw so numerous playoffs teams' quality starting pitchers - Justin Verlander, Chris Sale, Trevor Bauer, Jon Lester - called into relief duty in the best-of-five division series, guys that had started either Game 1 or 2.

"To be honest with you, when Dallas is right, he's confident against anybody". "They're aggressive on the base paths, so you have to control that. He knows he can get out anybody in the league". 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.

The Astros' prolific offence is the ideal blend of power and savvy base-hitting, a big reason they were able to dominate so many teams offensively this season.

"It's the way our team is built", Astros catcher Brian McCann said. The Astros added Verlander, who has been otherworldly since coming over from the Tigers. "There's no let-up".

NY plays the first two games of the best-of-seven ALCS on the road against the Astros.

"We have to figure out a way to handle their bullpen, to avoid their home-run power and and get some of them to swing and miss", Hinch said.

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"Baseball has changed there and they have done a good job".

"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.

"When it comes down to it, we'll be playing baseball, but it is a little bit more fun to be playing back-to-back with the Red Sox and the Yankees".

The Yankees will need that resolve again with the Astros perhaps even a tougher opponent than the Indians.

Game 1 of the best-of-7 ALCS is Friday night in Houston. He joked that the lefty will probably feel better when he takes the mound and sees players in Yankees uniforms.

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