The Houston Astros shut out the New York Yankees to win the American League (AL) wildcard game 3-0.
Cy Young Award candidate Dallas Keuchel led the Houston Astros to a 3-0 win over the New York Yankees in the American League (AL) wildcard game.
Pitching on three days of rest, Keuchel delivered six innings of shutout ball, scattering three hits while striking out seven as the Astros moved on in the MLB post-season.
The Astros finished the regular season ranked second in home runs, so it was no surprise that Colby Rasmus and Carlos Gomez provided the Astros with an early 2-0 lead with lead-off homers in the second and fourth innings respectively.
Jose Altuve delivered an insurance run in the seventh with an RBI single to left field off Yankees reliever Dellin Betances.
The Yankees' cold bats continued to under-perform. Manager Joe Girardi benched outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury as his average dipped to .220 since the All-Star break, but the team-wide slump could be blamed on several batters. With Tuesday's goose egg on the scoreboard, the Yankees have averaged just 2.9 runs per game in their past eight (resulting in seven losses).
The Yankees never had a base runner reach third, but the club did have runners on first and second with two out in the sixth with Alex Rodriguez at the plate in what was then a two-run deficit. A-Rod swung at Keuchel's first pitch and flied out to centre to end the inning. In his last 19 post-season at-bats with runners in scoring position, Rodriguez has zero hits.
Keuchel. The southpaw entered Tuesday's match-up with mediocre numbers on the road (5-8 win-loss, 3.77 ERA) but showed MLB he deserves the Cy Young with a dominant performance. In three starts against the Yankees, Keuchel is now 3-0 with 28 strikeouts, two walks and zero runs allowed in 22 innings pitched.
Brett Gardner. The Yankees outfielder was hearing the boo-birds, as was pinch-hitter Ellsbury as the duo ended the eighth inning with a pair of outs. Gardner finished zero-for-four with three strikeouts (all against Keuchel).
The Astros will take on the Royals in the AL Division Series beginning on Thursday in Kansas City. The Royals will send Yordano Ventura to the hill, while the Astros will likely send Collin McHugh to face the reigning American League champions.