Tuesday, October 6, 2015
Dallas Keuchel continued his season-long mastery of the Yankees with six more scoreless innings, Colby Rasmus and Carlos Gomez homered off Masahiro Tanaka, and the Astros advanced to the American League Division Series with a 3-0 victory on Tuesday night at Yankee Stadium.
With the victory in the AL Wild Card Game presented by Budweiser, the Astros move on to face the Royals in the best-of-five ALDS, which begins on Thursday night in Kansas City (Fox Sports 1). The Yankees’ first postseason appearance in three years was brief, due in large part to Keuchel, who limited them to three hits in a seven-strikeout performance, pitching on three days’ rest for the first time in his pro career.
When I think back upon this game, I think of that line from Bob Dylan’s “Lily, Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts.” You really couldn’t say any of us were surprised by this, right? John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman talk about not being able to predict baseball (well, Sterling does, at least. Waldman just sort of goes along with it), and that’s technically true, but at the same time, you can pretty reasonably guess how things are LIKELY to go, and the most likely scenario was that the dominant lefthanded pitcher, Dallas Keuchel, who had not given up a hit against the Yankees in sixteen innings this year, would continue to do well against them, particularly as they have struggled mightily against all lefthanded pitching recently, let alone someone like Keuchel, who will either be winning the Cy Young this year or will be coming in second place. So no, it was not surprising.
It was not similarly not surprising that Masahiro Tanaka pitched well, but not, like, exceptionally well. Still, two solo shots in five innings is fair enough. Can’t really blame Tanaka. Dellin Betances had an awful seventh inning, but when the team couldn’t even score a single run, it’s hard to knock him too much for giving up a single run.
Well, the season is over, not with a bang but with a whimper. Next year does not necessarily look to be any better than this one, but, well, this one was better than we expected, right? So hope springs eternal for next season. Maybe 5/9th of the lineup won’t go into months-long slumps all at the same time again next year.