Morning Rewind, 10/7: Dallas Keuchel sends the Yankees home early
By JOHN DORN
They achieved more than what was expected of them all year long, but the New York Yankees season came to an uneventful end at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday night.
In the AL Wild Card Game, Houston rode their ace Dallas Keuchel, pitching on three days rest, to a 3-0 shutout, setting up an ALDS rendezvous with the Kansas City Royals beginning Thursday at Kauffman Stadium.
Houston got the scoring started early with a Colby Rasmus solo home run in the second inning -- the first blemish on Masahiro Tanaka's playoff ledger. The second came in the fourth inning to Yankee nemesis and bat flipping extraordinaire Carlos Gomez -- playing through an injury to his side -- when the New York ace gave him a slider that didn't slide. The ball sailed over the left field fence, and it was all the damage Houston needed.
Carlos Gomez HR in AL Wild Card Game. So many good things going on in this swing. pic.twitter.com/yNBZN8eCLR— MikeAndress (@MikeAndress15) October 7, 2015
Tanaka allowed two runs on four hits over five innings, walking three batters and striking out the same. Manager Joe Girardi used an understandably short leash, unveiling his vaunted relief crew for the final four innings -- but it was perhaps the most electric pitcher of all, Dellin Betances, who allowed a third run to cross the plate in his first postseason inning.
Keuchel was undoubtedly the star of the night, throwing six shutout innings on short rest. He struck out seven, walked just one, and navigated a relatively rocky final inning of work in the sixth, getting Alex Rodriguez to hit one at Gomez in center field to escape the Yanks' biggest threat of the night.
After a nine-season playoff absence, including posting a combined 232-416 record from 2011 through 2014, the Astros are headed to the ALDS. The Yankees, on the other hand, already with $180 million in salary commitments for 2016 between players with an average age of 34, could be trending in the opposite direction.
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