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Game Recap: Cole Train Crushes Cubbies. 12 K’s Overpower Chicago 6-5.

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Gurriel’s 3 hits and Jack Mayfield’s first Major League hit and RBI highlight offense.

MLB: Chicago Cubs at Houston Astros Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

From Wikipedia. Panic disorder: an anxiety disorder characterized by unexpected panic attacks. Panic attacks are sudden periods of intense fear that may included palpitations, sweating, shaking, shortness of breath, numbness, or a feeling something terrible is going to happen.

Astros fans who suffer from this disease would have been well advised to have skipped inning one and inning nine of this game. Astros fans who do not suffer from this disease would have been well advised to skip inning one and inning nine. The rest was pretty calming. Inning three was downright therapeutic.

Inning one began with a Gerrit Cole walk. Not optimal but no need to panic. And then red hot Javier Baez struck out. That’s good. But with the next batter, anxiety attacks struck everywhere throughout Astrodom. The palpitations, the shaking, inability to breath, horrible flashbacks. Anthony Rizzo, a very large man, crushed a Cole train slider high and deep into the right field stands of Minute Maid Park. That ball might have put a hole in Minute Maid Park. Another hanging slider and...pow.

And why did Astro fans with anxiety disorder suffer palpitations and flashbacks? Because the MLB strikeout leader is also one of MLB’s home runs allowed leaders, with eleven in eleven games before today. Home runs is why he sports an entirely pedestrian ERA, and yet leads the league in xFIP, But the Astros need Gerrit Cole to stop giving up so many runs. Number one in xFIP does not win games!

In his last game Cole allowed seven runs in five innings, including two home runs, and even worse, his velocity was at least two MPH below average. So when the third batter he faced took the round out of the ball, it seemed like confirmation of a frightening trend.

For the next five and two-thirds innings, Gerrit Cole allowed two hits and no walks. He faced nineteen batters, and struck out eleven of them (twelve for the day). His fastball was back. He averaged 97.3 MPH, and topped out at 99.4. That pitch induced 24 swings and misses. He had 26 total whiffs out of 99 pitches. That is dominance over what is normally a killer lineup.

Here’s Cole blowin a heater right by a helpless Cub

Cole is OK. You can breath Houston.

At least until Roberto Osuna comes in to save a game.

Friday night he came into a game with a two run lead and allowed a home run. If not for the amazing Jake Marisnick 5% catch probability catch, that home run would have tied the game and Osuna would have blown the save. On Saturday he allowed two runs in the ninth and did blow the save, although the Astros came back to win.

Today Osuna came in with a three run lead (6-3), and immediately gave up a first pitch home run to defensive specialist Albert Almora. The pulse began rising in Greater Astroville. Two batters later he gave another meatball to light hitting Addison Russell, and suddenly the Cubs were just one run behind with one out and the top of their mighty lineup coming up. Full fledge sweat and inability to breath was being reported to 9-11 centers throughout the area. Including the Astros dugout, where the order went out to get Framber Valdez to warm up. Talk about panic.

David Bote followed the homer with a single. Tying run on, one out.

Next up, leadoff slugger Kyle Schwarber. Strikeout.

Next, all-world slugger Javier Baez. Strikeout, his fifth of the game.

So just like Saturday night, Osuna recovered just in time. Astros win. But after going from opening day until May 20th allowing only one run, in his last three games he has allowed five. And yet in those three games he has two saves and a win. Nice work if you can get it.

There were some defensive snafus in this game, the Astros improvising in the infield with Altuve out and Carlos Correa getting a day off. But here was a gem by Yuli Gurriel at third.

Almost all of the run production from the Astros lineup today, which resembled something from a Spring Training split squad game, came in the third inning off Cole Hamels, starting with an Alex Bregman single. Michael Brantley then walked, followed by an RBI Yuli Gurriel single, his second of three hits for the day. Robinson Chirinos doubled, scoring Brantley, No out.

The newest Astro, Jack Mayfield, super-Jack, got his first Big-League RBI on a ground ball that scored Gurriel. Earlier in the game he got his first Big-League hit, a solid double off the wall in left field.

After the Mayfield RBI, Tyler White walked, followed by a seeing eye Derek Fisher single just past the first baseman, which scored Chirinos, and sent Tyler White to third. Jake Marisnick concluded the scoring for the Astros with a high bouncing ground out that scored White.

Here’s a compilation of Astros rally hits, including a second inning Gurriel single that scored Alex Bregman. For the third straight game the Astros did not get a home run.

One big reason the Astros won this game was Carlos Correa and George Springer, neither of whom played, taking out the Yuli Gurriel bobblehead when Gurriel was batting, and bobbling his little head. This resulted in a 3-4 game for Gurriel, our offensive player of the day.

Here’s an interview with the adorable wife of the newest Astro, Jack Mayfield. Her name is Jackie, and their baby boy is called Jackson.

Tomorrow the Cubs and Astros play game two of the series at 7:10 CDT. Jon Lester of the Cubs (3-3, 2.68 ERA) takes on Corbin Martin in his fourth Big League start (1-1. 4.97 ERA).

Box score and videos HERE