In Game Three the New York Yankees strategy seemed to be to try to knock Gerrit Cole off the mound early and go to work on the Houston Astros awesome but shaky at times bullpen and, hope that Tuesday would be a shaky day.

True enough Gerrit Cole who hasn’t lost a game in nearly five months got off to a wobbly start. The Yankees seemed to have him on the ropes but couldn’t knock him out. Cole walked five batters, tying his previous career high, and struck out seven. To give you a sense of how strong Gerrit has been, some sports commenters referred to the performance as ‘only’ seven strikeouts. Over all with Gerrit on the mound the Astros are 16-0 his last sixteen starts. Yes, wow.

The weather in New York City was kind of cool with some rain predicted and temperatures in the 50s. A front moving through has rained out Game Four. Not for nothing but this may be a slice of what kept Gerrit from finding his stuff and settling into a tempo in the early innings. Though he didn’t have strikeouts in the double digits he had a fantastic game mentally and controlling the bean when he had to, making important clutch pitches in tight situations with runners on. About the fourth he seemed to get into sync and throw more like we’ve come to expect.

The Yankees did not get their wish as Cole willed himself to 112 pitches into the seventh and when the bullpen came in the Yankees found that today wasn’t a shaky day for that crew either.

The sheer number of innings with RISP as the inning ended for Houston revealed the measurable slump the wood is in hasn’t fully recovered. Similarly the Dodgers and Cardinals are slumping at precisely the wrong moment with disastrous consequences. The fifth seed wild card Washington Nationals whipped St Louis in four straight to now sit home and wait for the outcome of the Astros Yankees beat down.

While it’s bad news for Cardinals fans I prefer the Nats get some down time, take some time off, get out of sync, and lose a few degrees of that late season mojo that landed on your shoulders ten days ago. Meanwhile let the Astros work themselves out of the slump on strong gutsy pitching like we’re getting and just enough hits and runs sprinkled around to stay in the games. Come World Series time the Astros should be well oiled and slamming into fifth gear and redlining in every department for a four game sweep.

The gritty win in Houston Sunday night, combined with a first game win in New York puts the Astros clubhouse mindset in a calm but focused mode. There is no reason for panic, and a game four loss wouldn’t be catastrophic especially with a game five win. Either way Tuesday’s win gives Houston home field advantage again plus, they’ll play the last games in Houston if necessary. Then add in the fact the Astros heard the Yankees being booed by the Bronx fans in their own stadium. Yankee fans don’t care what happens between April and September, you’d just better have it together in October, they have no patience.

Wednesday’s game has been rained out as the winds pick up and there’s a ninety percent chance of heavy afternoon rain.  Game Four will be played tomorrow (Thursday) at 7:08 pm Lake Charles time.

A full day’s delay would affect pitching rotations and choices, Game Four will be played on Thursday and Game Five pushed back to Friday. Friday had been a scheduled off day, Games Five and Six are scheduled for Houston Saturday and Sunday. Now the teams will play four in a row.