In the first postseason start of his career, 27-year-old Astros' lefty Dallas Keuchel picked up where he left off in the regular season, throwing six scoreless innings against the New York Yankees in the Wild Card win that earned Houston their spot in the ALDS.
After the Astros and Kansas City Royals split the first two games of the series in Kauffman Stadium, they pick things up this afternoon in Minute Maid Park with Keuchel back on the mound at home in Houston where he was (15-0) over 18 starts this year with a 1.46 ERA, a 2.04 FIP and a .186/.232/.242 line against in 129 ⅓ innings pitched.
The Astros, as a team, were 44-37 at home and 30-51 away from Houston. Keuchel was asked yesterday what it was about Minute Maid Park that allowed him and the team to have such success?
"I don't know," Keuchel said. "That's a really good question because I think last year my road stats were better.
"Just one of those things. I guess as the crowds have gotten better and the support has gotten better, I think we've all played better.
"Obviously, the team's record is a whole lot better at home, including my success. And maybe it's the temperature, I don't know, the AC. I don't know. Set on 71.
"It's just one of those things that it's -- 2015 was our year at home. So we're going to look to build on that, and hopefully we can give these fans some more success."
The Royals send Edinson Volquez to the mound in Game 3, after the veteran right-hander went (13-9) in 34 games, 33 starts this season, with a 3.55 ERA, a 3.82 FIP and a .249/.320/.375 line against in 198 ⅓ IP.
Volquez told reporters he was aware of Keuchel's numbers at home, but was just going to remained focused on giving the Royals a chance to win.
"I think I just want to pitch my own game," he said. "Not to worry about what he can do and because that's not my job. My job is keep the game in line and give us a chance to win. And I know he's one of the best pitchers right now in the baseball, so it won't be easy."
|KANSAS CITY ROYALS||HOUSTON ASTROS|
|Alcides Escobar - SS||Jose Altuve - 2B|
|Ben Zobrist - 2B||George Springer - RF|
|Lorenzo Cain - CF||Carlos Correa - SS|
|Eric Hosmer - 1B||Colby Rasmus - LF|
|Kendrys Morales - DH||Evan Gattis - DH|
|Mike Moustakas - 3B||Carlos Gomez - CF|
|Salvador Perez - C||Luis Valbuena - 3B|
|Alex Gordon - LF||Chris Carter - 1B|
|Alex Rios - RF||Jason Castro - C|
|Edinson Volquez - RHP||Dallas Keuchel - LHP|
Keuchel vs the Royals:
Volquez vs the Astros: