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Dallas Keuchel tied a franchise postseason strikeout record

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The Astros didn’t need an excess of run support on Friday, clinching their first ALCS game after Dallas Keuchel tossed a gem against the Yankees. Not only was he the first Houston pitcher with a scoreless start in the 2017 playoffs, but he joined an exclusive group of Astros’ hurlers with his seven-inning, 10-strikeout performance. The last Astros’ starter to rack up 10+ strikeouts in the postseason was Nolan Ryan, who fanned 12 batters en route to a 1-2 loss in Game 5 of the 1986 NLCS; several days earlier, Mike Scott recorded a franchise-best 14 strikeouts during a complete game shutout in Game 1.

Keuchel, however, is the first lefty to match the record, narrowly edging out two nine-strikeout performances by Randy Johnson (1998) and Mike Hampton (1999). On Friday, he caused trouble from the get-go. Brett Gardner fell for Keuchel’s heater in the first inning, while Gary Sanchez was foiled by a slider that was blocked at the plate. Keuchel fanned Aaron Hicks and Gary Bird with back-to-back strikeouts in the second inning; in the third, Aaron Judge capped an unproductive inning after chasing another slider out of the zone.

Almost everyone came back for seconds. Sanchez was called out on strikes again in the fourth, while Gardner collected his second strikeout in the fifth. Riding the high of Marwin Gonzalez’s terrific throw to catch Bird at the plate, Keuchel kicked off the sixth inning with another pair of back-to-back strikeouts, getting Sanchez a third time and whiffing Didi Gregorius with his devastating slider. In the seventh, Bird helped Keuchel reach history, battling through a seven-pitch at-bat for the lefty’s 10th and final strikeout of the night.

If it feels like it’s been a while since you’ve seen a southpaw dominate at this level in the playoffs, well, that’s because it has. Per MLB.com’s Joe Trezza, Keuchel’s gem was the first of its kind since Cliff Lee went seven scoreless with 10 strikeouts for the Rangers in the 2010 ALCS.

Yu Darvish lands on 10-day disabled list again with triceps tendinitis

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Bad news for the Cubs’ Yu Darvish: The right-hander is headed back to the disabled list with right triceps tendinitis, the team announced Saturday. It’s the second such assignment for Darvish this season, but the first time he’s been sidelined with arm issues. Neither the severity of his injury nor a concrete timeframe for his recovery has been revealed yet, but the move is retroactive to May 23 and will allow him to come off the DL by June 2, assuming all goes well.

Prior to the injury, Darvish went 1-3 in eight starts with a 4.95 ERA, 4.7 BB/9 and 11.0 SO/9 through 40 innings. Needless to say, these aren’t the kind of results the Cubs were hoping to see after inking the righty to a six-year, $126 million contract back in February, though the circumstances affecting his performances appear to have largely been out of his control. He missed a start in early May after coming down with the flu and has struggled to pitch beyond the fifth inning in five of his eight starts to date.

The Cubs recalled left-hander Randy Rosario from Triple-A Iowa in a corresponding move. Rosario has yet to amass more than five career innings in the majors, but has impressed at Triple-A so far this year: he maintained an 0.97 ERA, 2.8 BB/9 and 6.1 SO/9 through 19 1/3 innings in 2018. As for Darvish’s next scheduled turn in the rotation, Tyler Chatwood is lined up to take the mound when the Cubs face off against the Giants in the series finale on Sunday. A starter for Monday night’s game has yet to be determined.