NEW YORK (AP) – The Houston Astros kept summoning pitchers from the bullpen in a hurry, but it didn’t matter. Not on this night, not in a ballpark that kept pulsating with every pitch.
No matter who manager A.J. Hinch signaled for, the New York Yankees would not be stopped. Somehow, the Astros squandered a late four-run lead and fell 6-4 Tuesday, and now find themselves level at two games apiece in the AL Championship Series.
At least Hinch’s next move is an easy call: Bring on the beard.
Houston Astros’ Jose Altuve watches from the dugout during the ninth inning of Game 4 of baseball’s American League Championship Series against the New York Yankees Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Dallas Keuchel will take the mound Wednesday in Game 5, with Houston hoping he can extend his most remarkable run against the Yankees.
“This is what we play for,” he said, hours before the Astros blew a tremendous chance to move within one win of the World Series.
Keuchel has been almost automatic against the Yankees, especially in October.
The lefty ace pitched seven shutout innings and struck out 10 to win the opener. He threw six scoreless innings to win the 2015 AL Wild-Card game at Yankee Stadium.
Overall, he has a 1.09 ERA in 57 2-3 innings against the Yanks. Oh, and he hasn’t given up a home run in that span.
Keuchel will once again face Masahiro Tanaka in a rematch of Game 1, won by Houston 2-1 at Minute Maid Park.
“We haven’t really done a whole lot off him,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said after this stirring victory.
New York Yankees third base coach Joe Espada reacts before being taken out of the game during the eighth inning of Game 4 of baseball’s American League Championship Series against the New York Yankees Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
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