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Dallas Keuchel

Houston Emerges Victorious From Bewildering Game 5

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If you weren’t watching, you’d be forgiven for thinking that rumors of last night’s ballgame are nothing more than tall tales. 25 runs scored in a game started by Clayton Kershaw and Dallas Keuchel? Seven more World Series home runs to break the all time record? Blown saves by a pair of the best relievers in the game? It strains credulity.

And yet.

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Dodgers Edge Astros To Take Game 1

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It was a classic October pitcher’s duel—until it wasn’t.

Dallas Keuchel and Clayton Kershaw squared off last night to kick off the 2017 World Series, and they mostly lived up to their reputations as two of the best starting pitchers in the game.

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Series Tied, Keuchel Takes The Ball

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You may have noticed a popular word in postseason baseball: Momentum. The Astros had it in the ALDS, taking a quick 2-0 lead over the Red Sox before dispatching Boston in four games. The Dodgers have it, as they aim to sweep the Cubs out of the playoffs tonight. Right now, the Yankees have it, too.

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Astros Hit the Bronx with 2-0 Lead

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The Astros did what they were supposed to do. Now, the Yankees try to fight back.

Starting tonight, Houston and New York do battle in the Bronx, with a trip to the World Series on the line. Staked to a 2-0 series lead, Houston needs only win two of the next five games to advance—but don’t count the Yankees out just yet. They claimed the winner-take-all Wild Card game from Minnesota and rallied from a 0-2 deficit to dispatch the Cleveland Indians in the American League Division Series last week.

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‘Stros Draw Yanks, Keuchel-Tanaka Set for Tonight

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The Houston Astros dodged one bullet. Now, they’ll have to contend with another.

When the New York Yankees defeated the favored Cleveland Indians in the fifth game of the American League Division Series, they established themselves as a powerhouse team. On one hand, Houston is lucky to avoid Cleveland, who dismantled the Astros in five of six 2017 meetings. On the other hand, the Yankees are really good, and their young team will only get better with time. This series could mark the beginning of a bitter new rivalry.

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Jose Altuve Keeps it 100, Leads ‘Stros Past Sox

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If Game One of the American League Division Series was anything to go by, Jose Altuve is feeling good this October. Good luck, opposing pitchers.

The frontrunner for the American League MVP Award turned in a performance worthy of that designation on Thursday, smacking three solo home runs en route to an 8-2 Astros victory over Boston. In so doing, he became just the ninth player in baseball history to homer three times in a postseason contest, joining names like Babe Ruth, Reggie Jackson, and George Brett.

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Astros Line ‘Em Up

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The Astros couldn’t have drawn it up any better.

After a three-game sweep of the New York Mets in their emotional homecoming, the ‘Stros hit the road for three games in Seattle. It was a significant moment for the team – they shone big and bright in their return to Houston, and are now lined up to star on an even bigger stage. The playoff roster is starting to take shape, most notably in the starting rotation.

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Alex Bregman Takes Off

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The Astros’ constellation of stars continues to grow.

You know about Jose Altuve – everybody knows about Jose Altuve. The diminutive superstar is enjoying a sensational season at the keystone, batting over .360 and pacing the big leagues in Wins Above Replacement, per fangraphs.com.

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Keuchel Rights The Ship

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Here’s the bad news: The Astros lost their series against the rival Texas Rangers, two games to one. That’s two series losses in a row, and leaves the ‘Stros with just three wins in their last ten games.

Now for the good news: Staff leader Dallas Keuchel finally flashed his Cy Young form on Sunday afternoon, leading Houston to its only win of the series on the back of 6 2/3 dominant innings. Keuchel allowed one earned run on six base hits, walking three and striking out seven. He earned the victory, moving to 10-2 on the 2017 season.

It was a long time coming. Keuchel hadn’t tallied a W since way back on June 2 – also against the Rangers, in Arlington. He hit the disabled list with neck discomfort a few days after than, and missed most of the next two months slowly mending the nagging injury. Sunday marked his fourth time starting since rejoining the Houston roster, and his first time pitching to his own lofty standards. A healthy and effective Keuchel would go a long way towards stabilizing a Houston rotation that’s missing electric youngster Lance McCullers Jr.

Jose Altuve – who’s batting a stunning .362, and is emerging as a frontrunner for the American League Most Valuable Player award – led the charge on offense with a pair of base hits, including his 18th home run of the season. A seventh-inning RBI single from Carlos Beltrán gave the Astros a 2-1 lead before Keuchel turned the game over to the bullpen.

Houston closer Ken Giles recorded six outs for his 23rd save of the season, notching two strikeouts along the way. Giles has been a bright spot for a beleaguered Houston bullpen, working to a 2.86 ERA in an array of high-leverage situations.

Clippard Brought In To Shore Up ‘Pen
The Astros may have missed out on their top targets ahead of the non-waiver trade deadline, but GM Jeff Luhnow and company are still keen to improve their club. Word broke late on Sunday that Houston had acquired White Sox reliever Tyler Clippard to do exactly that. Clippard has been a solid arm for the Sox this year, pitching to a 1.80 ERA in 11 games since the All-Star break, including two recent scoreless innings against the ‘Stros in Chicago.

Harris On The Way
Continuing the theme, Houston reliever Will Harris threw off a mound on Sunday – a critical step in his rehabilitation from an inflamed shoulder. Harris has been dearly missed – he ran a 2.86 ERA this year before his injury and can help reinvigorate a bullpen that’s looked overworked and overmatched since the break.

‘Stros Set To Rattle Snakes
The Astros are traveling to Arizona to take on an unfamiliar opponent – the Arizona Diamondbacks of the NL West. The D-Backs are enjoying a stellar year. At 65-52, they share the third-best record in the National League. Even so, they sit a stunning 18 games out of first place, behind the juggernaut Los Angeles Dodgers. Collin McHugh draws tonight’s start for the ‘Stros. He’ll face a tough opponent: Arizona ace Zack Greinke. Greinke will sling his first pitch at 8:40 Central.

‘Stros Swept Out Of Windy City

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The time is coming for the Chicago White Sox to run circles around the best of the American League.

That’s not supposed to be for a few years, though.

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