Top 10 Keuchel Moments: #7 thru #5
#7 Keuchel’s First World Series Start
Sometimes a great moment happens even when the result doesn’t go your way. That was the case for Dallas Keuchel. If it hadn’t been for Justin Verlander coming out of the bullpen for Game 4 against Boston, Game 1 of the 2017 World Series would’ve been the best pitching matchup in recent history between two Cy-Young Award winners and MVPs in Verlander and Clayton Kershaw. But in hindsight, the matchup between two Cy-Young Awards was an incredible one.
Of course, the result was a loss as Keuchel would be bothered by two homers, including one on his first pitch of the World Series. In spite of three runs on six hits, Keuchel still managed to limit the Dodgers down, which included three double plays from his defense. It was unfortunate that the offense couldn’t contribute as Houston lost 3-1. However, while Kershaw and the Dodgers won the battle, Keuchel made sure the Dodgers would earn the win and three strikeouts along with help sent a message that the series would be a war.
#6 Keuchel’s Increase in Career Strikeouts
The 2015 season was the best of Keuchel’s career. One reason was his continued rise in career strikeout games. His first ever game striking out 10 or more batters came May 30 against the White Sox, when he struck out 11 batters in a complete game shutout. Nearly a month later, Keuchel went one better with 12 strikeouts against the Yankees in another complete game shutout.
Just when you thought 12 batters struck out was amazing for a pitcher of Keuchel’s type, this lefty decided to save his best for the Rangers in July. There were 13 Texas hitters fell victim to Keuchel’s strikeout wrath in a shutout win. The only difference from the other two games was that Keuchel lasted seven innings.
Keuchel finished with 216 strikeouts on the season, which included five games of double-digit strikeouts on the season.
#5 Keuchel Starts All-Star Game
Keuchel’s incredible 2015 season earned him the right to start in the All-Star Game. While the Kansas City Royals were getting most of the attention since there were fraud ballots with eight of nine Royal starters on the AL Side, Royals manager Ned Yost opted to go with Keuchel as his starter over Chris Sale and David Price.
Keuchel pitched two innings allowing one run on an RBI single from Jhonny Peralta. But he did get a strikeout against a future World Series opponent in Joc “You Like That” Pederson. Keuchel became the first Astro pitcher to start an All-Star Game since Roger Clemens did so back in 2004. As an added bonus, he was on the winning side as the AL won the game to have home-field advantage in the World Series.