DALLAS KEUCHEL: I think David Price is pretty good. It's something after the playoffs I'll look back on it and think about the season. But until that point it's all about the Houston Astros and our playoff push.
Q. Your manager said that he thinks the adrenalin will help you tomorrow night pitching on short rest. Is that how you feel?
DALLAS KEUCHEL: I mean, I can't really tell you maybe it's going to help me throw 91 instead of 90. I don't know. It's a big game. So I'm sure I'll be up for it no matter what.
But at this point in time, the routine is there. I feel comfortable going in. I feel great. There's no end-of-the-season fatigue, I feel like. So I'm excited. I don't think I'm going to need any type of adrenalin. If any adrenalin, it might be too much, so I might have to try to back it out.
Q. Related to that, what are your thoughts on going on one day short?
DALLAS KEUCHEL: I've done it a few times over the course of my career, not in professional ball, but I did it in college with the College World Series in Omaha. But it's just something that's going to need to be done.
And whether or not I feel good when the game starts, it's going to be up to me to start the game and help the team win. So I'm very blessed I'm in this position, and I'm going to give them everything I've got and we'll see at the end of the game whether that's good enough or not.
Q. Can you talk about how you guys take your cues from A.J.; when things got bad, you guys never really wavered, you didn't panic? And he just kind of brings that mentality every day to the clubhouse.
DALLAS KEUCHEL: He's been such a delight, especially in Spring Training, getting to know the guy. Very open door, very transparent. It was refreshing, not to say it was bad before, but it's refreshing that type of personality, that type of guy for the team that we have for the core guys, and I think the veteran guys also did their part and kind of gelling us together.
But what A.J.'s done has been tremendous. He's been the centerpiece for all of us and for him not to ever panic or ever waver in his support for us was huge.
Q. Clearly you have a distinctive look. I'm wondering how recognized you've been on the streets of Manhattan on previous visits, maybe even today?
DALLAS KEUCHEL: The autograph seekers definitely know who I am. And that kind of gets a little tiring after a while. But, I mean, I prefer to go unnoticed.
I don't have the beard to be noticed. It's just I can't let it go right now. But Manhattan is so big that I'm just another Joe.
Q. I'm just curious, for you to be here on the cusp of being an enormous season with a playoff victory, getting a start at Yankee Stadium, the team being here in general, how much does getting to this point feel like a validation of the way the Astros have done things over the last few years?
DALLAS KEUCHEL: I think a lot of people still are kind of weary of us. And I don't really get that now. We secured a playoff berth, whether that's a one-game with the Wild Card, or if that's a five-game division series. We proved people wrong continuously throughout the season and we're going to try to continue to do that. A lot of the guys in there, or I should say all the guys in there have had so much confidence about what we could do, especially from mid-April on, and we just continue to play well.
But I play with a chip on my shoulder, and I think a lot of the guys do in there as well. And we'll always carry that, whether it's just personal reasons or outside or whatever.
Q. You talked a little bit about trying to nibble too much in that range or that general mentality (lost audio).
DALLAS KEUCHEL: I've tried to do the best job I possibly can throughout these last four seasons. I think I've come a long way.
And I really tried to do too much, and that was just trying to be too fine. I say "nibble" just because a lot of people say that, but just trying to be too fine, make it a perfect pitch every single pitch I throw, and you can't do that. Even guys who throw perfect games and no hitters, you're going to make a mistake pitch, but that mistake pitch is unhittable because you're making so many good pitches over the course of the game.
I didn't start off well, and then I just tried to do too much as well after the start of the game, and I vowed to myself never do that again. And I think I've made some good adjustments and recovered myself.
Q. What do you remember from the Yankees offense last time you faced them?
DALLAS KEUCHEL: Saying my prayers. I really feel like they're one of the best 1 through 9 lineups in the game. Can't really pitch around one guy to get to the next guy. And I'm very careful and very wary of what they can do here, especially in the Bronx, Yankee Stadium, they know how to hit here.
And I have just been, I guess, thankful enough to make quality pitches in both my starts this year. And even last year I felt pretty good here at Yankee Stadium even though we lost 3-0.
It's just been luck of the draw and I hope to have quality stuff tomorrow.
Q. How did you learn, and when did you learn that you were starting this game, and how did that affect precisely what you did between starts?
DALLAS KEUCHEL: Well, I didn't find out until yesterday, they pulled me aside and told me after we had clinched, but basically after Friday's start I knew we had a good shot of either hopefully maybe playing 163 for the division or getting the Wild Card.
I didn't want to think about packing my bags up and not having a postseason. So that's why I continued to do my after-start routine.
And basically Saturday morning got up, went to the field and did my day-after routine. Basically getting ready for tomorrow and just until yesterday is when I finally figured it out.
Q. Knowing that pitchers watch pitchers, how would you tell the Astros hitters to attack Tanaka?
DALLAS KEUCHEL: Well, he's been one of the best since he's been over here, and he's been fun to watch. I know -- I haven't watched all his games but just watching highlights and some of the stuff he possesses, it's truly remarkable how he -- the power he brings in that body.
He can be anywhere from 90 to 95 with a good split and a good little tight slider, cutter slider. And I'm just thankful that I'm not a hitter, because I definitely would not be able to hit that.
And I guess, like the scouting report on me, you've got to see me up. If you're swinging at balls coming at your knee and move down or move laterally, good luck with that. So I would say hopefully see him up, a few pitches.
Q. Alex Rodriguez said a few minutes ago in the Yankees clubhouse, he believes the Yankees are underdogs tomorrow night. (Inaudible) Do you buy that, that they're underdogs?
DALLAS KEUCHEL: I don't believe so. We're at their home place. We're at Yankee Stadium. I feel like I'm the underdog every time I go to the mound. I'm going to continue to think that way until I can't pitch anymore.
I think they've had the better season. I really do. Just because until the last, what, week they lost six out of seven. But they've been there. They've been almost 20 games up. They've played well. Their rotation has done well; their lineup has been there. They've got the key cogs, and we've had a couple of injuries. We've been up and down like a little roller coaster. But definitely playing at Yankee Stadium, I don't think we're favored, I really don't. And that's the way we're going to continue to play as the underdog.
Q. Carlos Correa, what you've seen of him, what's really impressed you? And this one I apologize, we all have to do things we don't want, but have you ever shared grooming tips with James Harden?
DALLAS KEUCHEL: There's really nothing that doesn't impress about Correa. He just turned 21. I was still in college at 21. He's very mature. He never really panics at the plate, it seems like. And that's one of the things that really blows my mind, that a 21-year-old can really be that mature this quick.
I had heard it from everybody from the front office, the coaching staff, a lot of players that have played with him but I hadn't seen it until he got up in June.
I'm really dumbfounded about how that can possibly happen. He possesses power, average. Steals some bags. His defense is really great. There's really nothing not to like about the kid. He's a nice kid. I call him kid, I'm older now, 27, so I can say that.
But he's very impressive. And he's willing to learn. That's one of the biggest keys. He's always picking at Altuve and Valbuena and a lot of those guys about what he can get better at and the things he can do. So there's nothing but good things to say about that kid.
And then I just met Harden for the first time when he threw out the first pitch second to last week of the season.
We really didn't talk about our beards. I think that's just kind of -- that's just kind of known. But I'll just say what a pleasure it was to meet him and obviously he's one of the best basketball players on the planet.
So anytime he'll allow me to go over to the Toyota Center, or something, maybe shoot some hoops, it will be greatly appreciated. He had a pretty nasty cutter that he threw me up there, that first pitch.