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Astros blank Yankees, reach World Series

(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

(TSX / STATS) -- HOUSTON -- Leave it to Houston Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow, the architect of this incredible franchise resurgence, to add the necessary perspective to the proceedings, to rattle off the key contributors on Saturday night and outline the roles they played in the celebration taking place.

From Jose Altuve and Lance McCullers to Evan Gattis, the pieces were added one by one until the Houston Astros, once laughingstocks throughout the majors following their relocation from the National League, claimed their first American League pennant with a 4-0 win over the New York Yankees in Game 7 of the American League Championship Series at Minute Maid Park.

Houston advances to its first World Series since 2005 on the backs of Altuve, the homegrown MVP candidate whose opposite-field home run in the fifth inning keyed the decisive three-run frame, and McCullers, the first-round compensatory draft pick in 2012 who worked in tandem with Astros right-hander Charlie Morton (1-1) to deny the storied Yankees their 41st pennant.

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AL Pitcher Strikeouts
Rank Name K
1 C. Sale, Bos308
2 C. Kluber, Cle265
3 C. Archer, TB249
4 L. Severino, NYY230
5 C. Carrasco, Cle226
6 J. Verlander, Hou219
7 T. Bauer, Cle196
8 M. Tanaka, NYY194
9 R. Porcello, Bos181
10 K. Gausman, Bal179
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NL Pitcher Strikeouts
Rank Name K
1 M. Scherzer, Was268
2 J. deGrom, NYM239
3 R. Ray, Ari218
4 C. Martínez, StL217
5 Z. Greinke, Ari215
6 J. Samardzija, SF205
7 S. Strasburg, Was204
8 C. Kershaw, LAD202
9 J. Nelson, Mil199
10 G. Cole, Pit196
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