Astros Turn To Gerrit Cole With Season On The Line

Cole will start Game 5 of the ALDS on Thursday

After Hours With Amy Lawrence
October 09, 2019 - 8:48 am
Gerrit Cole Astros ALDS

USA Today Images

Categories: 

After taking the first two games of the ALDS, the Houston Astros were in complete control of the series. 

Well, the Tampa Bay Rays won Games 3 and 4 to force a do-or-die Game 5 in Houston. The Rays won Game 3, 10-3, and beat Justin Verlander, 4-1, in Game 4 on Tuesday.

Verlander allowed four runs on seven hits in 3 and 2/3 innings.

“I saw a guy that was under a lot of pressure pitching on three days rest,” Astros TV analyst Geoff Blum said of Verlander on After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “He made some mistakes, and to the Rays’ credit, they took advantage of those mistakes. He’s pitching on short rest, but also the opposing team is seeing him in three days, so that memory of what he did at Minute Maid Park is still fresh in their mind and they made the adjustment.”

With their season on the line, the Astros will turn to Gerrit Cole in Game 5. Cole went 20-5 with a 2.50 ERA and 326 strikeouts this year and was virtually unbeatable over the last four months of the season. In fact, he hasn’t taken a loss since May 22, and the Astros went 20-2 over his final 22 starts.

“It was really incredible to watch him do that,” Blum said. “Watching a guy maintain a groove like that over 20 starts is incredible.”

The Astros won a franchise-record 107 games this year and are seeking their second World Series appearance in three seasons. But they must beat Tyler Glasnow in Game 5 on Thursday.

“It’s a little bit exhausting,” Blum said of playing in an elimination game, “but at the same time, you’ve got to go out there with the mentality of, I’m not looking forward to the championship series. All I have are the next four at-bats that I have. If you’re a pitcher, all I have are the next three or four innings or whatever the expectation is for that pitcher. You literally have to put everything you have into that moment, and hopefully you exhaust your talent and your ability to go out there and get outs and help your team win. If you do not, you’re going to be very ashamed that you didn’t go out there and do that if it ends up being a loss.”

Click below to listen to Blum’s interview in its entirety.