With the season on the line, the Royals are sending Yordano Ventura to the mound after a rain-shortened start in Game 1 of the ALDS matchup which saw the right-hander give up four hits, a walk and three earned runs in two innings.
The Astros counter with right-hander Lance McCullers in Game 4 of the best-of-five series.
Royals' skipper Ned Yost was asked this morning how he might approach a potential elimination game differently than other postseason games.
"A little bit differently," Yost said. "We purposely didn't use [Kelvin] Herrera yesterday down three or [Ryan] Madson down three to try to hold it at three, knowing that you wanted them at full rest. They have the ability to go two innings if we need them, all three of them, if we need them. To be able to do that with the off day tomorrow. They will be ready to go again.
"You just play the game. Hopefully Ventura is on, like we think he will be. Let him get through six, if he can, and then we're in pretty good shape if we have got the lead at that point with Herrera, Madson, and Wade Davis.
"So the game plan's not going to change."
Houston's starter Lance McCullers admitted, before he knew that it would be an elimination game, that try as he might, he couldn't pretend it was just another start.
"Yeah, you can't go into a game like tomorrow and just say to yourself, 'Oh, it's like every other game you ever pitched in,' because it's not," McCullers told reporters.
"And I'm okay with that. I'm going to attack that head on, understand that the moment's bigger, the stage is bigger.
"But I'm out there pitching for more than just to win, I'm pitching for my guys, pitching for the fans. So it's going to be -- I'm going to be fine. I may get a little anxious like I do before pretty much every start, but I'm going to go out there and I'm going to compete and I'm not going to hold anything back."
|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|
|Yordano Ventura - RHP||Lance McCullers - RHP|
McCullers vs the Royals:
Ventura vs the Astros: