The Astros' and Yankees' lineups are out for Game 4, as the American League Championship Series continues today in New York.Game 4 of the ALCS presented by Camping World will get underway on FS1 at 5 p.m. ET/4 CT as the Yanks seek to become just the sixth team to
The Astros' and Yankees' lineups are out for Game 4, as the American League Championship Series continues today in New York.
Game 4 of the ALCS presented by Camping World will get underway on FS1 at 5 p.m. ET/4 CT as the Yanks seek to become just the sixth team to overcome an 0-2 deficit in the LCS, which would continue a resilient trend they've shown all postseason, from the AL Wild Card Game against the Twins to the AL Division Series presented by Doosan against the Indians.
:: ALCS schedule and coverage ::
Against New York right-hander Sonny Gray, Houston has reverted to a lineup that is closer resembled the one it used in Games 1 and 2. Designated hitter Carlos Beltran and catcher Brian McCann have both been reinstalled and will bat seventh and ninth, respectively, while Yuli Gurriel will shift back to first base, which will move Marwin Gonzalez back to left. The shuffle sends Cameron Maybin and Evan Gattis to the bench.
Looking to take a commanding 3-1 lead, Astros manager A.J. Hinch is turning to right-hander Lance McCullers, who will make his first start of these playoffs. McCullers, who was a first-time All-Star after putting together one of the best first halves in baseball, had battled back discomfort that led to Houston exercising caution with his usage down the stretch and into the ALDS.
The Astros instead went with Brad Peacock as their fourth starter in the ALDS vs. the Red Sox and used McCullers out of the bullpen. The results were mixed, as McCullers gave up two earned runs in three innings, but induced misses on 32 percent of his swings generated. And when batters were hitting him, they did so with an exit velocity of just 81.6 mph.
New York, meanwhile, made a significant adjustment for Game 4, as Austin Romine -- who will get his first postseason at-bats today -- will start at catcher, while Gary Sanchez has been shifted to designated hitter, though he retained his spot at cleanup. That left Chase Headley out of the starting lineup, with Romine filling in the nine-hole, where Headley started for the past two games.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi opted to give Romine the start in part because of his rapport with Gray, as well as to give Sanchez a break. Gray, acquired at the non-waiver Trade Deadline to make significant starts such as these, will make his second postseason appearance this October, and first since Oct. 5, when he gave up three earned runs in 3 1/3 innings in a loss to the Indians in Game 1 of the ALDS.
In that game, Gray's sweeping curveball led to passed balls with Sanchez behind the plate. Gray also had a 1.45 ERA in three starts with Romine as his catcher, and a 4.63 ERA with Sanchez.
"The numbers bear out that [Gray] had better starts with Austin," Girardi said. "Sometimes it just happens. Sometimes I can't explain why one catcher mixes with a pitcher a little bit better. To me, it also gives Sanchez a little break here. Sonny has tended to rough him up a little bit and beat him up physically. And this time of year, I don't want our catchers so beat up it affects everything."
"I feel good, I got to work on a lot of stuff," Gray said on Monday. "That's something that has been pretty beneficial to me. I've thrown a handful of bullpen [sessions] and got to throw a sim game the other day. The positive thing is I feel really good. I feel fresh, and should be ready to go."
- George Springer, CF
- Josh Reddick, RF
- Jose Altuve, 2B
- Carlos Correa, SS
- Yuli Gurriel, 1B
- Alex Bregman, 3B
- Carlos Beltran, DH
- Marwin Gonzalez, LF
- Brian McCann, C
Lance McCullers, P
Brett Gardner, LF
Aaron Judge, RF
Didi Gregorius, SS
Gary Sanchez, DH
Greg Bird, 1B
Starlin Castro, 2B
Aaron Hicks, CF
Todd Frazier, 3B
Austin Romine, C
Sonny Gray, P
Daniel Kramer is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver. Follow him on Twitter at @DKramer_.