Evan Gattis DH
On the Mound: Dallas Keuchel (20-8, 2.48 ERA)
Gomez is making his second start of the postseason, and his first of the ALDS. He was replaced in the AL Wild Card Game after aggravating his intercostal strain. Hinch mentioned that the Astros do have a back-up plan for if Gomez must come out of the game.
“I expect his best. He’s going to give us everything that he’s got,” Hinch said. “In New York I was a little bit concerned and he ended up making some plays in the outfield and hitting a homer. I don’t expect him to govern himself. This time of year the ballpark atmosphere, we have no shot of telling him to govern it down and I don’t think that we want that. I don’t know how it’s going to go toward the end of the game, just like in New York he had a swing that didn’t feel very good. I’ll use my eyes and ears and pay attention to it a little bit. We’ve got a back-up plan if something happens, but I know that this guy in the biggest moments can help you win.”
Keuchel against Kansas City:
Keuchel saw the Royals twice during the 2015 season (once at each ballpark). In those two games, Keuchel pitched 14.2 innings and allowed five runs on 17 hits with 12 strikeouts (3.17 ERA). Hinch said that Keuchel won’t change his approach no matter what Kansas City tries to do.
“I like the first game better than I like the second, I’ll tell you that much. The game in Kansas City for (Keuchel) was one of the few times a team has had success with ambushing him in the first inning,” Hinch said. “When Dallas is executing, I don’t care what approach they go after. He’s got an uncanny ability to get the ball on the ground with soft contact. If you don’t get him early, you’ll have a hard time getting to him at all.”
Postseason baseball in Houston:
Today’s game marks the first postseason home game for the Houston Astros since the 2005 World Series. The Chicago White Sox won the game 1-0 to seep the Astros in the Franchise’s first World Series appearance. Hinch said that it is great to have Postseason Baseball back in Houston.
“It is extremely special to have postseason baseball back here,” Hinch said. “I love the fact that we brought a playoff team back here for our fans to celebrate and enjoy. We’re very proud to be Astros. We’re proud to have a winning team and be in the midst of a playoff run that we hope will last for a long time. Our fans have waited a long time for this. Many of the people in the clubhouse, or on the coaching staff, or even in the front office haven’t endured as long of time as the fans have. So be able to reward them for their patience, support, and their understanding through these times, we get to share that with a fan base that has endured a lot over the last ten years let alone the last couple, it is very gratifying for all of us that wear the uniform.