• Brian L. Barefield

EARLY WARNING: Astros Gerrit Cole takes the mound in Game 2 of the ALDS against the Indians

Updated: Oct 7, 2018

Earlier this year, January 13th to be exact, an early morning emergency alert warning of an incoming ballistic attack was mistakenly dispatched to all cellphones in Hawaii. That alert set off a mass hysteria of panic amongst the citizens who were already on edge due to the rocky relationship between the United States and North Korea. After 38 minutes the problem was solved, and the World would breathe a sigh of relief. But on that same day, the Houston Astros sent a warning throughout the world of baseball and this warning was not a mistake. It was an alert to let the other teams in Major League Baseball know that the Astros were serious about winning it all in 2018.

Fresh off of their 2017 World Series victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers, Houston traded four players to the Pittsburg Pirates for veteran pitcher Gerrit Cole. In his first game of the season, Cole showed the organization and fans why he was worth everything they gave up for him. He struck out 11 batters and allowed only one run against the Texas Rangers. That was just the beginning of what Houston would get from Cole as he finished the year with 15 wins, an ERA of 2.88, and led the Majors in strikeouts per 9.0 innings. The two-time All-Star struck out 276 batters which was second only to teammate and Game 1 ALDS winner Justin Verlander (290).

Cole will be the starter for the Astros today as they take on the Cleveland Indians in Game 2 of the ALDS. He will be making his fourth appearance in a Division Series where he has a record of 1-2. As Houston looks towards another victory, Gerrit is happy that he can help contribute this season instead of watching the Astros make another championship run without him.

“From an analytic standpoint, from a scouting report standpoint, from teammates and instructors, there's just a high level of quality here that's ahead of quite a bit of other teams. As a player coming into a situation like this, you just want to try to take advantage of it to the fullest and just be grateful,” said Cole in his pregame press conference.

The Astros look to improve on their 2017 postseason success at Minute Maid Park. With the win last night, they have gone 9-1 in the last ten home games. They have outscored their opponents 58 – 30 during that ten-game stretch.

1st pitch is at 3:37 cst in Houston.

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