Houston Astros: Gerrit Cole could break a record set last postseason

Houston Astros pitcher Gerrit Cole (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
Houston Astros pitcher Gerrit Cole (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images) /

Houston Astros pitcher Gerrit Cole will take his spot on the bump for his second postseason with the team. He could break a record set just last year. What?

The Houston Astros were able to successfully earn their first win of the postseason against the Tampa Bay Rays yesterday afternoon after an impressive 6-2 decision.  The team certainly brought their “A” game and as we expected, Jose Altuve went out to set the tone by homering in his third consecutive postseason opening game.

He even called his shot to MLB.com reporter Alyson Footer so the fact that he was determined to make it happen, goes to show the competitive fire that he has inside of him to be the best.  That’s certainly the definition of being a champion.

Justin Verlander was brilliant in his start, being able to put together seven shutout innings and allowed just one hit to further cement his likely status as the 2019 AL Cy Young Award winner.  When JV is on the bump, there’s a sense of confidence as well as reassurance that’s everything is going to be all right.

That’s what you want to see in an ace and it’s impressive that he’s doing this at age 36.  Even Rays’ manager Kevin Cash colorfully admonished that his team just got “Verlander’d,” which is certainly the correctly-coined verbiage for any opponent that this man faces.  He has truly been a blessing in his three seasons with the team and I can’t wait for many more if they keep looking like this.

But Game 1 is now yesterday’s news and we all must forge ahead to embrace the intricacies of Game 2 which will be this evening.

Gerrit Cole will be on the bump tonight to battle against the talented Blake Snell and it sure will be an entertaining pitching duel to watch for sure.  Snell has battled through his fair share of injuries this season but there’s no question that he’s ready for this moment, one that many will be talking about whether he’s successful or not against a historically-great Houston Astros‘ batting lineup.

This will be Cole’s sixth appearance as a pitcher in the postseason dating back to his days with the Pittsburgh Pirates but because of the type of remarkable season he has had, I think this start is going to have some special sauce on it.

What do I mean?

Cole has been the king of being able to achieve double-digit strikeouts throughout the season; and

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although, this is the playoffs, I don’t think there’s no stopping the Cole Train even as the stakes as strong as what holds rails together are high.

He did it for the first time in the postseason in Game 2 of the ALDS against the Cleveland Indians by notching 12 strikeouts to his credit.

Can he do it this time around?  Absolutely and I think he’s going to break that mark that he set last season, especially if he gets into an incredible rhythm, which is typical of him.

Although it’s more important that he does what it takes to neutralize the Rays’ bats, this will be an interesting mark to see him hit as I know he’s thinking about that as he’s getting his mind locked-in for his prime-time extravaganza.

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So here we go — I can’t wait to see what happens — go Houston Astros!

Cole has a career 2-4 record in the postseason with a 3.72 ERA while tossing 31 strikeouts to 12 earned runs.  He’s also 16-0 coupled with a 1.78 ERA in his last 22 starts with the Houston Astros.