Gerrit Cole had the best season of his career for the Astros this year, but he’s not done yet. What he has done in the postseason so far is simply amazing.
Sometimes we seem to take things for granted and fail to realize the relevance of what we are experiencing. We begin to expect certain outcomes because that’s what we’re used to seeing. Let us, as Astros fans, be sure we aren’t doing that with Gerrit Cole. We are witnessing something special taking place. Baseball history is being rewritten, right before our eyes.
Cole was admittedly not as sharp last night as he’d like to be, but he still got the victory. Not only did he win the game, but he also pitched seven scoreless innings. He allowed nine batters to reach base, the most he’s allowed since June 25, 18 games ago. That’s the same amount of baserunners he put on in Game 1 and Game 2 combined.
As powerful as the Yankee offense is, not one of those nine made it to home plate. Cole was as determined as ever and worked his way out of trouble time and time again. In four of the first five innings, the Yankees had two or more men on base. But Cole made the necessary pitches to strand every one of them.
"“The way he navigated this game,” Astros manager A.J. Hinch said, “is something very few pitchers can do. He worked his way through and around every high-leverage count. That was the most impressive thing about Gerrit tonight.” via Tom Verducci of Sports Illustrated"
Cole’s Major League record of 11 games with double-digit strikeouts finally came to an end. But his streak of consecutive wins is still alive and now stands at 19, a feat that hasn’t been accomplished in 107 years.
He now has three games on record this postseason and has won each one going 3-0 thus far. In 22.2 innings of work, Cole has an unfathomable 0.40 ERA and a WHIP of 0.79. He has struck out 32 batters for a strikeout rate of 12.71 per nine innings and opposing teams are batting only .132 and slugging just .197. Keep in mind this is against playoff teams, the best in the league.
It has been an honor to watch Cole pitch for the Astros this year, regular and postseason. We need to make sure we step back and relish this experience. This kind of skill is special and very rare to see, and who knows where Cole may be pitching next season. But this season isn’t over yet and he is likely the starting pitcher for Game 6, if necessary, and hopefully on into the World Series.