Astros Trust 2019 Season to Gerrit Cole in Do Or Die Fifth Game
The shocking defeat of the Los Angeles Dodgers last night in a fifth game elimination scenario by the Washington Nationals, a wild card entry into baseball's post season tournament hopefully has opened eyes in the Houston Astros clubhouse.
All season I tracked the Dodgers, looking for a WS matchup with Houston, and my WS prediction was blown to smithereens too last night as I'd foreseen a 4-1 Astros World Series win over LA.
The Dodgers and Astros 106 and 107 game winners respectively in 2019, the two best records in baseball know for sure in the former's case upsets happen and in the latter's an eye-opening wake-up call to stay loose, hang tight and win tonight in Houston.
The Astros send twenty-nine year old Gerrit Cole to the mound a twenty-game winner this year with an ERA of 2.50. Cole also registered 326 strike-outs and has a WHIP of .89.
Tonight's game is apt to be a pitching duel as the Rays send Cole's former teammate Tyler Glasnow to the mound. Cole and Glasnow were both 2011 Pittsburgh Pirate draft picks and now they'll face each other in one of the bigger post season match-ups this year. They're also friends, but not tonight.
As for the Astros, various news reports out of the Club seem to indicate the clubhouse atmosphere is very positive and fired up and, Cole hasn't lost a game in nearly five months. The Astros won his last five starts and he blew the Rays away in game one with fifteen strikeouts.
The mere fact that Cole would be available and on full rest is what swayed manager AJ Hinch to start Justin Verlander on short rest in game four. A move I thought reeked of desperation, but seemingly Houston only has two viable starting pitchers and a sometimes leaky bullpen.
The Rays bullpen is nothing to sneeze at either. It's doubtful Cole will go nine innings but it's baseball and anything can happen. And Tampa Bays primary strength is their bullpen that displays a wicked combination of velocity, spin rate and movement.
Coming into the post season with a team record and league top 107 wins the Astros looked to be a bull wrecking the china shops of the playoffs but now they're tied at two in the divisional series.
Put on your rally caps and cross your fingers, first pitch is at 6:07 pm Lake Charles time on FS1. For more information click here.