Drafting sports, Oct. 15.- The Houston Astros are already in New York ready to play, if the rain allows, the third game of the American League Championship Series against the Yankees and will do so with the stellar opener the right Gerrit Cole, who seeks to rise in the postseason elite.
Cole, who arrived transferred to the Astros, last season, has emerged from being a good pitcher to be considered the best today in the majors.
He has achieved it because he knows how to use the four-seam straight and the curve much better and more frequently, while he has reduced the two-seam sinker and attacking the upper part of the strike zone more often.
The Astros and the Yankees are tied for a win (1-1) in the series that play the best of seven and Cole, with an 18-0 mark in his last 24 starts, will open the meeting on Tuesday, against the Dominican ace Luis Severino.
“It’s explosive. This is the big stage,” said Astros pilot AJ Hinch. “It will be complicated from the first pitching, and it will generate adrenaline.”
With his performances, Cole is making his way to a postseason elite that includes pitchers like Christy Mathewson, Sandy Koufax, Bob Gibson, Orel Hershiser and Madison Bumgarner.
The Astros may remember for a long time the May 22 game because they hit for a triple play on that occasion. Now, this encounter is in memory as the last time Cole suffered a defeat.
Cole, selected by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the first round of the 2011 amateur draw, had a record of 59-42 and a 3.50 ERA in five seasons in the majors, when he was assigned to Houston through a trade that was agreed upon in January 2018
In return, the Pirates got right-handed pitchers Joe Musgrove and Dominican Michael Feliz, as well as antealist Colin Moran and outfielder Jason Martin.
Since arriving at the stars, Cole now has a spectacular 35-10 winning mark and all thanks to his talent, but also to the brilliant advice he has received from Astros pitching coach Brent Strom.
In addition to bullpen coaches Josh Miller, juvenile pitcher coordinator Doug White, senior information manager Tom Koch-Weser and research and development director Brandon Taubman, who was an expert in derivative valuation for Financial firm and auditor Ernst & Young.
“I had not entered this whole field before. So I suppose I was surprised to know that it was almost possible to predict even how it would be a pitch against the rest of the league,” said Cole about the evolution he has had since he came to the organization of the Astros.
Hinch compares what was discussed at that meeting with a trade secret. It is not unusual for an organization whose analysis team employed Sig Mejdal, a former NASA mathematician, who is now with the Baltimore Orioles.
The important thing for Hinch is that Cole has become an exceptional, responsible pitcher, who knows what he has to do whenever he is on the mound and seeing him in action at the legendary Yankee Stadium will be something very special.
“I have no doubt that he will do a great job, he always does it, but it grows when the opponent has the batting class like the one the Yankees have,” Hinch said.