2015 has been a big year for Houston Astros lefty Dallas Keuchel, but his biggest test yet is coming up on Tuesday night.
Keuchel will toe the rubber at Yankee Stadium in the AL Wild Card Game as his Astros go up against Masahiro Tanaka and the Yankees. The winner of this do-or-die battle will go on to face the Kansas City Royals in the ALDS.
On Monday, Keuchel and manager A.J. Hinch met with the media to share their thoughts on the Astros' postseason appearance and, naturally, the emotions going along with Tuesday night's prime-time battle.
Among other things, Keuchel said he hopes to utilize the experience of starting the All-Star Game for the AL at Cincinnati's Great American Ball Park as a means of combating the electric atmosphere he expects from the Yankee Stadium crowd:
Jose de Jesus Ortiz of the Houston Chronicle added that Keuchel has held the Yanks to just three runs in 24 innings of work spread across three career starts. He has not, however, pitched on three days' rest yet in his MLB career - though he will do just that on Tuesday. Ortiz pointed out that Keuchel hasn't pitched on short rest since the 2009 College World Series.
As for his manager, Hinch commended his ace for the stellar work he's done all season. "He's our guy. So to hand him the ball with the season on the line, it's pretty awesome", Hinch said.