LOS ANGELES – Former Razorback all-conference pitcher Dallas Keuchel became a World Series champion with the Houston Astros Wednesday night after the Astros defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers, 5-1, in game seven at Dodger Stadium.
Keuchel did not play in the final game, but did make two appearances in the Fall Classic, pitching 10.1 innings and giving up six earned runs with seven strikeouts. He also started games one and five, pitching against three-time Cy Young award winner Clayton Kershaw.
With Houston’s win, Keuchel becomes just the third former Razorback to win a World Series, joining Dick Hughes (1967 – St. Louis Cardinals) and Eric Hinske (2007 – Boston Red Sox; 2009 – New York Yankees). Hinske also won the 2016 World Series as the assistant hitting coach for the Chicago Cubs.
2017 was just the second postseason appearance for Keuchel, but with a Cy Young Award of his own already along with three Gold Glove awards in his trophy case, he can now add a World Series trophy after only his sixth professional season.
Keuchel’s year was a bounce back of sorts. After winning just nine games and compiling a 4.55 ERA in 2016, the he went 14-5 with a 2.90 ERA and 125 strikeouts in the regular season. His ERA was the best among all Astros starting pitchers and his win total was tied for ninth among all American League pitchers.
In the entire playoffs, Keuchel went 2-2 with a 3.58 ERA over 27.2 innings. He earned wins over Boston in the American League Divsional Series (ALDS) and the New York Yankees in the American League Championship Series (ALCS). His best outing came in game one of the ALCS against the Yankees where he threw seven scoreless innings, striking out 10 batters, his first playoff outing with 10 or more strikeouts.
Wednesday’s game seven between the Dodgers and Astros marked the end of a memorable series that pitted two former Razorbacks against each other in Keuchel and Dodgers’ infielder Logan Forsythe. Forsythe completed his seventh season in the Major Leagues and broke out with a great performance in the World Series. batted .267 with two of his four hits coming in game five, a game that Keuchel started for Houston.
Forsythe has had a strong resurgence in September that helped lead the Dodgers into the playoffs. In the final month of the season, Forsythe played 26 games and hit two home runs with eight RBIs, eight walks and 14 hits.
His 14 hits tied for fifth on the team and he had the seventh-highest OPS on the team (.676) through the final month. In this year’s playoffs, Forsythe batted .297 (11-for-37) with six RBIs and eight walks.
Forsythe and Keuchel were both teammates on the Razorback baseball team in 2007 and 2008 and went on to become top draft picks in their respective years in the first seven rounds.