Astros aces take first swing in one-two punch plan

Astros aces take first swing in one-two punch plan
HOUSTON -- Dallas Keuchel throws his fastball an average of 89 mph from the left side, then stares in for the catcher's next sign behind a Tom Hanks-in-Cast-Away beard that adds to his aura of anonymity. He signed for a $150,000 bonus as the 221st pick in the 2009 draft, and he has made himself into a standout big league starter with command, guts and a knack for commanding both sides of the plate. Before Keuchel emerged as an All-Star in Houston, most casual fans were at least even money to mangle the pronunciation of his last name. Justin Verlander, Keuchel's fellow top-of-the-rotation starter with the Astros, has been a monument to durability and still brings the 95 mph heat at age 34. He was bound for stardom as the No. 2 overall pick in the 2004 draft out of Old Dominion, and his $180 million contract and celebrity relationship with supermodel Kate Upton have helped him attain a level of fame that goes well beyond his MVP, Cy Young and Rookie of the Year... 
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