Astros set to duel Yankees

Sports

October 12, 2019 - 12:54 AM

Houston Astros players celebrate a series-clinching 6-1 win against the Tampa Bay Rays in Game 5 of the American League Division Series on Thursday. DIRK SHADD/TAMPA BAY TIMES/TNS

A look at what’s happening around the majors today:

 

WELCOME TO THE NLCS

The Washington Nationals play in the NL Championship Series for the first time, taking on St. Louis at Busch Stadium. Aníbal Sánchez starts for the Nats against Miles Mikolas.

Both teams won a deciding Game 5 on the road in the NL Division Series. The Cardinals scored 10 runs in the first inning and romped past Atlanta 13-1 while Washington rallied late and beat the Dodgers 7-3 in 10 innings.

Nationals aces Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg and Patrick Corbin all got plenty of work in the NLDS. Sánchez was 11-8 with a 3.85 ERA this season, then gave up one run in five innings in his lone appearance against Los Angeles.

Washington manager Dave Martinez says he hasn’t decided how he will line up the rest of his starting staff after Sánchez. Cardinals manager Mike Shildt said Adam Wainwright will start Game 2, followed by Jack Flaherty and Dakota Hudson, who will be available out of the bullpen at the beginning of the series.

MAMMOTH MATCHUP

Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman and the Houston Astros are set to meet Gleyber Torres, Aaron Judge and the New York Yankees in a highly anticipated AL Championship Series beginning Saturday night at Minute Maid Park.

The pitching-rich Astros led the majors with 107 wins, and are expected to start Zack Greinke in the opener. The Yankees posted 103 victories and could go with either James Paxton or Masahiro Tanaka in Game 1.

These teams have recently met in the playoffs. Houston won the 2015 AL wild-card game at Yankee Stadium, and also topped New York in a seven-game ALCS in 2017 on the way to its first World Series title.

The Astros went 4-3 against the Yankees this season.

REVIVED REDBIRDS

No telling what Cardinals manager Mike Shildt might say in the closed — and camera-free — locker room to fire up his team before the NLCS opener. Usually mild mannered, his curse-filled clubhouse victory speech after St. Louis battered Atlanta in the NLDS clincher went viral when a player posted it on social media.

Shildt was sorry his colorful language got leaked, but didn’t feel bad about the gist of his message.

Related