Dallas Keuchel won a showdown with Seattle's Felix Hernandez on Monday night as the Astros emerged victorious, 7-2.
It wasn't like Hernandez had a horrible game. His defense certainly let him down with two errors. However, the Astros still had nine hits, seven against the pitcher known as "King Felix." Coming into the game, Hernandez had a 1.91 ERA and a league-leading 39 strikeouts to go with a 3-0 record.
As for Keuchel, he had his third straight strong start, going six innings, giving up six hits, two runs, and striking out eight Mariners. Those eight strikeouts were one short of a career high.
"It's just command and being confident in my off-speed stuff," Keuchel said. "(It's) just not fearing anybody. It's giving respect to a lot of hitters, but knowing ultimately I have the upper hand, usually."
"(Keuchel) just continues to attack the strike zone," Bo Porter said. "He does a great job of pitching to both sides of the plate. He's developed extreme confidence in his secondary stuff now and he throws it in any count. It's really been keeping the hitters off balance and defensively, the guys are making all the plays."
With the win, Keuchel improves to 2-1 with an ERA of 3.38 on the young season.
"I think I have some above average off-speed (stuff)," Keuchel said. "And when I can throw my fastballs with movement, it just kind of sets up that off speed. And anytime I can get ahead and make guys think about that fastball, it just makes that off speed that much better."