HOUSTON -- The Astros figure to have just about every pitcher available for Saturday night's Game 7 of the American League Championship Series at Minute Maid Park, perhaps with the exception of Game 6 starter Justin Verlander.That includes closer Ken Giles, who said after throwing 23 pitches in the ninth
HOUSTON -- The Astros figure to have just about every pitcher available for Saturday night's Game 7 of the American League Championship Series at Minute Maid Park, perhaps with the exception of Game 6 starter Justin Verlander.
That includes closer Ken Giles, who said after throwing 23 pitches in the ninth inning of the Astros' 7-1 win on Friday night that he would be ready to take the ball again if called upon by manager A.J. Hinch. Right-hander Charlie Morton will start the game for Houston.
:: ALCS schedule and coverage ::
"I expect myself to be ready no matter what," Giles said. "I'll just figure out a way and just be ready to go when needed."
Hinch said he would use every pitcher on the staff in order to get the 27 outs that will be necessary to send the Astros to their second World Series. Starting pitchers Lance McCullers, Collin McHugh and Dallas Keuchel all figure to be available, along with every relief pitcher on the roster. Brad Peacock threw one inning in relief Friday and would also be available.
• Dress for the ALCS: Get Astros postseason gear
"These guys will be on an adrenaline high like none other," Hinch said. "My decision to pitch [Giles] in the ninth, there was no tomorrow, so we didn't have the luxury of limping into that inning. We've seen how these guys can explode in these innings.
"So I just went after it with Giles. I didn't want him to throw 20-plus pitches. We just wanted the three outs. We wanted to shake hands and get to tomorrow. How it happens tomorrow, who knows? We'll see."
Keuchel is embracing the possibility of pitching in relief in Game 7.
"It is all hands on deck, besides Verlander," Keuchel said. "I think he's done enough for us already. No pitcher is going to be in the dugout. They're all going to be in the bullpen, myself included. Any way we can help out, we're trying to get to the World Series, the same way the Yankees are, and that's a nice feeling to have."
McCullers threw six scoreless innings in Game 4 of the ALCS presented by Camping World on Tuesday before being pulled after giving up a leadoff homer in the seventh to Aaron Judge. When asked Friday how much he could potentially give Houston in relief on Saturday, he said nine innings. McCullers wasn't joking.
"I don't want them to think me being on short rest is any need to hold back or hinder what I can provide for this team tomorrow," McCullers said.
Giles has pitched on back-to-back days 13 times this year, with the most pitches he's thrown on the first being 22. He threw 23 on Friday.
"As of right now, I'm focused on inning No. 1 tomorrow," Giles said, "and we'll see how it goes and we'll go on from there."
Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter.