Houston Astros: Gerrit Cole should get a blank check if successful in Game 5

Houston Astros pitcher Gerrit Cole (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Houston Astros pitcher Gerrit Cole (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

Houston Astros pitcher Gerrit Cole will get the game ball for tonight’s elimination game against the Rays. If successful, he should get a blank check. Why?

Houston Astros fans — we’ve finally arrived at the end game to this incredible, heart-pounding ALDS opening postseason series against the Tampa Bay Rays.  The stage has been set at Minute Maid Park and all eyes will be on the Houston Astros on if they will be able to continue their World Series-chasing hopes by advancing to the next round.

The Rays have the Houston Astros on the ropes and it’s up to this team to fight their way out of being put into a corner and deliver their final knockout punch to prove the ultimate in supremacy.

All of the pressure is on the Houston Astros considering they had the best record in the majors (107-55), the most wins in franchise history, winning their division pennant and securing home-field advantage throughout the postseason.

The Rays have nothing to lose as they’re a good team but they’re young and are just coming on the scene with an identity.  The Houston Astros have already established who they are so quite honestly, the Rays are playing with house money.  Each win that they get exceeds the expectations that were set forth for their season and it seems that they’re enjoying every minute of it.

The Washington Nationals 7-3 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers eliminated their competition from the playoffs and now that team — which won 106 games by the way — will be nothing more than a footnote in someone else’s wild story about their road to the World Series this season.

The Houston Astros have to be extremely careful that they don’t have the same fate as the Dodgers, who all thought that they had things wrapped up — until Juan Soto when nuts which led to rally backed by him, Anthony Rendon and the ageless Howie Kendrick hitting a grand slam to put that game to bed in 10 innings.  Clayton Kershaw and Joe Kelly got absolutely rocked and it’s clearly obvious that they wanted to win that Game 5 even more.

The Dodgers seem to have been complacent as far as where they were and as I said previously, the Houston Astros must be careful not to fall into that same trap of false security.  L.A. will now be watching the rest of the playoffs from the couch.

But anyway, enough of my diatribe about how the postseason has gone so far, let’s talk about Gerrit Cole, who will get the game ball for tonight’s closeout game at the Juicebox.

Cole has never had the opportunity to pitch in an elimination game in the postseason so this will be a first for him.  But as we’ve seen through the season, he’s as cool as a cucumber when under pressure, just like his counterpart and fellow AL Cy Young Award candidate Justin Verlander.

The odds are certainly in his favor to succeed and I hope to see another clutch, double-digit strikeout performance against the Rays to allow this team to move forward and get back to the task at hand of winning the big one.

If Cole is successful tonight, there should be no beating around the bush with Houston Astros‘ management to secure their top free agent.  Jim Crane should just put a blank check on the negotiating table signed by himself and let Cole fill in the rest of the numbers.

There’s no way you can replace a pitcher of Cole’s stature and I’m willing to make sacrifices to

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ensure this man stays in a Houston Astros‘ uniform.  He may not be as expensive as what we think he will be, because I know he wants to continue pitching for a winner and not go a team with little hopes of attaining a title just to collect a larger paycheck.

He genuinely seems to like being a member of the Houston Astros and if that man saves this team’s season, he sure as hell needs to be rewarded.

And that’s the bottom line…

He’s fully-rested and he’s ready to go for tonight so will we see another 15-strikeout performance?  I certainly hope so but I’ll settle for just him doing whatever it takes to keep the Houston Astros alive in this postseason.

Next. Astros: Three keys to an ALDS series win over the Rays. dark

This will be the most important start of his career and I think he’s going to be absolutely brilliant, whether or not he gets the support he needs from his teammates at the plate, still remains in question but I think they will come around.

I tip my hat to you Cole — let’s go Houston Astros!