Astros add RHP McHugh for ALCS against New York Yankees

The Yankees were lifeless against Astros ace Dallas Keuchel during the 2015 AL Wild Card Game

The Yankees were lifeless against Astros ace Dallas Keuchel during the 2015 AL Wild Card Game

Much of the reason that NY was able to let go of McCann was another young slugger, 24-year-old catcher Gary Sanchez (33 homers this season, 53 in 177 career games).

It didn't matter on Thursday, though.

If the game of baseball has entered some new evolutionary realm this season, populated by flame-throwing pitchers and all-or-nothing sluggers who together pushed home run and strikeout totals to record highs, the Houston Astros and New York Yankees represent its pinnacle - the most highly evolved species of this new era of baseball. Either way, these two teams are not going to beat the Dodgers in the NLCS (National League Championship Series). I think this will be one to remember for a long time.

This is somewhat surprising as McHugh was left off the team's ALDS roster. Although he didn't take any bases in the ALDS, New York should probably keep an eye on him in this series if he keeps getting on base as much as he has.

Game 3, at NY. "And to be honest with you, when Dallas is right, he's confident against anybody. Then after that is where it gets a little thought-provoking, I guess". His biggest win to date against them came in the 2015 AL wild-card game when he and the then-upstart Astros got a 3-0 win in the Bronx. 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.

In the other AL series game, Aaron Judge capped a four-run second inning with a two-run double, and NY capitalized on shoddy defense by Cleveland to even the AL Division Series at two games apiece.

"I can recall Masahiro Tanaka saying through his interpreter after Game 3, 'We are going to win Game 4 then go back to Cleveland and take care of business.' It showed huge confidence even though they were down 1-2".

Keuchel gets the nod in the opener after pitching behind Justin Verlander in the ALDS.

Hinch sees Keuchel and Verlander as 1A and 1B in his rotation, so who pitched first wasn't that big of a deal to him. Hinch made the right decision to bring Verlander into the game in the final game against Boston, but it was also a bit of a risk if they weren't able to pull off the win since he wouldn't be available to start Game 5. "So I have all the confidence in the world". Tanaka isn't necessarily the best option for the Yankees, especially with his struggles on the road this season, but with the other starters in the rotation working back to full rest, he's the go-to guy for Game 1.

It's worth noting that Yankees relievers have pitched 46.6% of New York's innings so far this postseason, so it's fair to start worrying at some point about overuse. On Wednesday, CC Sabathia turned in a praiseworthy start despite not making it through five innings.

"Oh, he's a great player, and he's been for a number of years here", Girardi said. "We hand him the ball and the entire room knows we have a chance to win".

Bellinger and Austin Barnes homered off Diamondbacks pitcher Zack Greinke while Japan's Darvish gave up one run and struck out seven in five-plus innings.

"It's a complete lineup throughout", Yankees Manager Joe Girardi said of the Astros. Didi Gregorius hits two home runs off Corey Kluber. NY has been propelled by the home run machine, rookie Aaron Judge.

Thanks in part to Altuve, the Astros wielded Major League Baseball's most prolific offense during the regular season.

Altuve has kept up his blistering pace in the postseason, where he's hitting.533 with three homers and four RBIs. The Yankees hit just.201 with a.646 OPS against the Indians, scoring just 21 runs in five games. Even though it's his third straight postseason appearance, 24-year-old Javier Baez went hitless in the NLDS - striking out five times and walking once. "So just keep playing my game, keep having fun. just contribute any way I can". Facing elimination in Game 3, NY beat Cleveland 1-0.

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