As we discussed on Wednesday, it's hard to call a regular-season start the biggest start of any pitcher's career, especially one that is the front runner for the AL Cy Young award.
But for Houston ace Dallas Keuchel, that was the case on Wednesday as an Astros win would've put them back in first place a night after they lost the perch. A loss put them 1 1/2 games back of the Rangers with a couple of weeks to play.
Keuchel went out and laid the biggest egg of his career against his team's biggest rival in a pivotal game, as the Rangers jumped on the ace lefty early and often and took a 6-0 lead on him in the first inning. When Keuchel's night was over, he'd worked just 4 2/3 innings, gave up 11 hits and a career-high nine earned runs as he was left out there to eat up some innings to save the bullpen as much as the Astros could.
it was the Rangers' second straight win over a really good lefty — the first coming Monday against Scott Kazmir — and really made a big statement in the AL West chase, clinching a series win and improving their season record against Houston to 11-4.
Keuchel had owned the Rangers over his career, and fanned a career-high 13 batters in seven shutout innings the last time he faced them. On Wednesday, the Rangers made sure to forget about that in a hurry.