Though history certainly wasn't on his side, Astros ace Dallas Keuchel spun an absolute gem on just three days' rest in Tuesday's win-or-go-home showdown against the Yankees at Yankee Stadium.
Making his first career start on short rest, Keuchel maintained the Cy Young-caliber form he's had for much of the 2015 campaign -- not to mention his season-long dominance of the Yankees -- in lifting the Astros to a 3-0 victory in the American League Wild Card Game presented by Budweiser. Along with leading his team to an AL Division Series clash with the Royals, beginning tonight at 6:30 CT on FOX Sports 1, the Astros' southpaw joined some elite company with his latest shutdown effort.
Here's a look at 10 of the most impressive facts and figures from Keuchel's history-defying performance.
1. Keuchel became the first pitcher to turn in a scoreless outing in a postseason game on three days' rest since Josh Beckett threw a shutout against the Yankees in Game 6 of the 2003 World Series.
2. In fact, Keuchel became just the sixth pitcher to work at least six scoreless innings on three days' rest during the Wild Card era -- and two of the previous five were coming off relief appearances, not another start. The other three to accomplish the feat following a start are Beckett, Mike Mussina (for the Yankees in Game 6 of the 1997 AL Championship Series) and Andy Pettitte (for the Yankees in Game 5 of the 1996 World Series).
3. The last time a pitcher threw at least six scoreless innings on three days' rest with his club facing elimination from the postseason, however, came in Game 7 of the 1991 World Series when both starting pitchers accomplished the feat. Each pitching on three days' rest, Atlanta's John Smoltz turned in 7 1/3 shutout frames in a pitchers' duel opposite Minnesota's Jack Morris, who led his club to a 1-0 victory by tossing a 10-inning shutout.
4. Keuchel's gem was his third scoreless performance against New York in as many outings. He's fired 22 shutout innings against the Yankees since Opening Day, the third-most by a pitcher against one opponent in a single season and postseason during the Wild Card era. The only two pitchers to toss more scoreless frames against a single opponent are Chris Capuano, who stifled the Cubs over 26 shutout innings in 2006, and Smoltz, who held the Padres scoreless for 23 innings that same year.
5. Keuchel joined Roger Clemens, Roy Oswalt and Nolan Ryan (twice) as the only pitchers in Astros history to start a postseason-elimination game. Keuchel is the only one to turn in a scoreless outing and the second to lead the team to a victory, along with Oswalt in Game 5 of the 2004 NLDS. Oswalt started that game on three days' rest and gave up two runs in six innings against the Braves.
6. Keuchel led the way as the Astros became just the third team to shut out the Yankees in a postseason-elimination game. The last team to accomplish the feat was the Braves in Game 7 of the 1957 World Series, while the only other such occurrence came courtesy of the Dodgers in Game 7 of the '55 World Series.
7. Keuchel is only the third Astros pitcher to throw six or more scoreless innings with at least seven strikeouts in a postseason game. The only other pitchers in franchise history to accomplish the feat are Brandon Backe, who struck out seven White Sox over seven shutout frames in Game 4 of the 2005 World Series, and Mike Scott, who struck out 14 in a shutout against the Mets in Game 1 of the 1986 NLCS.
8. Tuesday night marked the 24th postseason-elimination game in Yankees history. The Bronx Bombers had recorded at least five hits in each of the first 23 such contests before being limited to just three base knocks by Keuchel and the Astros' bullpen. It was also New York's second elimination game without an extra-base hit. The other such performance came in Game 7 of the 1962 World Series, in which the Yankees beat the Giants, 1-0, behind seven singles.
9. Keuchel became the third straight starting pitcher to hold the Yankees scoreless over at least six innings in a postseason game at Yankee Stadium. In fact, in the nine postseason games played at Yankee Stadium since the start of 2011, opposing starters have allowed just six earned runs over 49 2/3 innings, good for a 1.09 ERA.
10. With Keuchel proving he can handle starting on short rest and the Astros now advancing to the ALDS, the opportunity could potentially arise later this postseason. If that's the case, the Astros will likely be glad to know that the six pitchers to make multiple starts on short rest in a single postseason during the Wild Card era -- CC Sabathia (2009 Yankees), Curt Schilling (2001 D-backs), Kevin Brown (1998 Padres), Jaret Wright ('97 Indians), Mussina ('97 Orioles) and Pettitte ('96) -- were a combined 5-1 with a 1.77 ERA in those short-rest outings.
Paul Casella is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.