Gerrit Cole had a message for the Texas Rangers on this stormy night in Arlington. Stop! Stop in the name of the law.
And the law is: we are the Houston Astros by God, Champions of the whole gul durn world, and we are the new law in these here parts mister.
The Rangers, playing much better lately, and having just swept their last series, thought they had a chance to ambush the Astros when they were a little down.
Gerrit Cole said: “not on my watch boys,” keeping the Rangers guns silent and out dueling the Rangers’ own Cole, Cole Hamels. He limited the boys from Arlington to 1 run and 3 hits in six innings, striking out eight baffled Rangers. He hit 100 on the radar gun tonight for the second game in a row, and in fact has the fifth fastest pitch thrown by a starting pitcher this year.
(Who has the other four pitches? Answer at bottom)
Meanwhile the Astros guns were blazing tonight, especially Evan Gattis’ and Alex Bregman’s.
Bregman started the scoring for the Astros tonight, getting the Astros’ first hit, a double, and crossing home plate after a Jose Altuve single. Then Gattis came up and said “why mess with all this small ball,” and blasted one of his patented lumber jacks 415 feet into left field. It was his 10th of the year, and ninth in the last month. Who was saying he was finished last April?
In the sixth Gattis would plate Jose Altuve, who had another three hit night, with a clean single to center for his third RBI.
Evan Gattis is career 12-34 against Cole Hamels, with 4 home runs.
Alex Bregman would finish the scoring for the Astros with a solo shot to left, his 7th of the year, which would chase Cole Hamels from the game.
The Rangers did get to Gerrit Cole with a lucky run in the first. After a lead-off walk and a ground single, Adrian Beltre blooped a weak shallow fly to center which fell just in front of Jake Marisnick, who got a late jump. Statcast clocked the hit at 69.7 MPH.
That’s the only shot the Rangers would fire on this night against the new sheriff in town.
They did manage another harmless run in the ninth against Ken Giles on two hits.
Gerrit Cole is now 7-1 this year, and the Astros are 11-2 in games in which he has started. It is his third win against the Rangers. He lowered his ERA to 2.16, and increased his AL leading strikeout total to 124.
Cole Hamels took the loss. He is 3-6.
You coulda come to Houston Cole, remember.
ans. Shohei Ohtani
Box score and videos here.