A look at what’s happening all around the majors Wednesday:
HISTORY ON HIS SIDE
With the AL Championship Series tied at two games apiece, Dallas Keuchel pitches for the Houston Astros against Masahiro Tanaka and the New York Yankees (5:08 p.m. EDT). Keuchel is 6-2 with a 1.09 ERA in eight career starts vs. the Yankees, including a pair of scoreless playoff outings. The 2015 AL Cy Young Award winner tossed seven shutout innings and struck out 10 to beat Tanaka 2-1 in Game 1 at Houston. The left-hander has never given up a home run in 57 2/3 innings against the Yankees. ”Hopefully, seeing him twice in one series, our guys are able to adjust a little quicker,” New York manager Joe Girardi said.
Dodgers left-hander Alex Wood and Cubs righty Jake Arrieta square off in Game 4 of the NL Championship Series in a matchup of well-rested pitchers. Wood, who had a career-high 16 wins this season, will make his first appearance since Sept. 26. He was lined up for Game 4 of the Division Series, but the Dodgers swept the Diamondbacks in three games.
”It has its pluses and negatives,” Wood said of the layoff. ”I’ve stayed on a semi-regular schedule. I’ve had two (simulated) games in between against a lot of our regular guys in our lineup.”
Arrieta has pitched just 14 1/3 innings since Aug. 30, including four innings of two-hit ball against Washington in Game 4 of the NLDS. The 2015 NL Cy Young Award winner was hampered by a right hamstring injury at the end of the season.
”I think the leg issue is pretty much behind us,” Arrieta said.
HOME SWEET HOME
Aaron Judge and the wild-card Yankees are 5-0 at home this postseason heading into Game 5 of the ALCS against the Astros. The winner heads to Houston needing one win to reach the World Series, so Yankee Stadium figures to be rocking again. ”Every home game has been special,” manager Joe Girardi said. ”I just feel like the fans are back. And I see things that I haven’t in a while, and it reminds me a lot of when I was playing here.” Girardi said Gary Sanchez will be back behind the plate to catch Masahiro Tanaka after backup Austin Romine caught Sonny Gray in Game 4 on Tuesday. Sanchez was the designated hitter and had three RBIs, including a two-run double that snapped an eighth-inning tie as the Yankees rallied from four runs down for a 6-4 victory. New York has won 18 of its last 21 home games.
More AP baseball: Hometeaminsider.com