Astros starting Keuchel in Game 1, Verlander in Game 2

The Yankees were lifeless against Astros ace Dallas Keuchel during the 2015 AL Wild Card Game

Girardi led the Yankees back from a two-game American League Division Series hole against the Cleveland Indians, and he is now ready to pull off another upset against the Astros. But he was quick to point out that Keuchel's success certainly hasn't been limited to games against NY.

"Now we are just hours away from the Astros and another big challenge".

Keuchel won the AL Cy Young Award in 2015 when he went 20-8 with a 2.48 ERA before struggling last season, with a 9-12 record and 4.55 ERA.

Perhaps no single Yankees player has as much at stake this early in his career, and bearing in mind how the Astros ripped into Game 1 starter Tanaka when they faced him in the regular season - eight runs and four home runs in 1.2 innings on May 25 - Severino's start could be huge.

"It's just been a culmination of command, location, maybe a little more confidence", Keuchel said of his success.

After a fast start that signaled a young team arriving ahead of schedule, the Yankees rebuilt their bullpen at the trade deadline with the additions of strikeout kings David Robertson and Tommy Kahnle - adding them to a stable that included Chapman, Dellin Betances and Chad Green to form arguably the deepest late-inning corps in the game.

"I woke up this morning and I was like, 'Oh, Dallas pitching tonight, this is great, '" Altuve said Friday in a press conference. "And just because it's the Yankees, you get a little bit more amped and jittery". He's 2-0 with a 3.12 ERA in the postseason.

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He built off that in his first start this postseason when he yielded three hits and a run in 5 2/3 innings to help Houston to an 8-2 win over the Red Sox in Game 2 of the ALDS.

"I remember I was at home that day and my brother told me, "Hey, we got him", and I was like, "No, we didn't". He allowed three hits and struck out seven in seven scoreless innings in a 1-0 victory.

Biggest Horses: Expect the Astros to ride their biggest horses in this series - Verlander, Keuchel, Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa and George Springer.

These pitchers will face two of the best hitters in the majors in Houston's Jose Altuve and NY rookie Aaron Judge.

"So I think that was my feeling, but I know that the other 24 guys in the team felt the same way about getting Justin Verlander".

The 25-year-old Judge isn't daunted by his hard postseason.

Beltran has been in 58 career playoff games for five different teams. "So just keep playing my game, keep having fun. just contribute any way I can". The Yankees said CC Sabathia will pitch Game 3 in NY and Sonny Gray will go in Game 4. NY was down 0-2 in the five-game series, but avoided elimination three times. Houston's hasn't announced its rotation past Saturday.

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