For the second straight night, a member of one of the best pitching tandems in all baseball history overcame poor run support to get the Astros even closer to a playoff berth.
Tonight Gerrit Cole completed eight innings, allowed just two runs with six hits and a walk, and fanned ten Mall Cops. He surpassed 300 strikeouts, the only pitcher in the majors to break that threshold, and the first Astro since Mike Scott in 1986.
Cole has thrown seven games in a row with 10 Ks or more, and a total of 19 for the season. He has now gone 20 games in a row without a loss, winning 14 of those games. During that streak he has had a 1.85 ERA, a WHIP of 0.82, and a phenomenal K% 40.3%. With that overpowering dominance, his BB% is only 5.9%, striking out almost 7 Xs as many batters as he has walked.
Gerrit Cole, 99mph Fastball (foul) and 90mph back foot Slider (swinging K), Overlay with Tails.— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) September 19, 2019
Here’s Cole acknowledging the fans after strikeout number 300.
The Astros were outhit by the Rangers 7-6, and left the bases loaded twice, but they got enough big hits to pull it out and hang on.
Yuli Gurriel hit a two-run homer behind Yordan Alvarez’ single in the fifth to break a scoreless tie. It was his thirtieth home run, joining Alex Bregman and George Springer in the 30 club for the Astros. This is only the second Astros team to have three 30 home run players in a season.
Jose Altuve’s home run in the 7th, a 400 foot+ monster to the opposite field, his 29th, leaves the Astros just one home run short of having a record four 30+ home run hitters.
ASTROS SWEEP THE RANGERS!— AT&T SportsNet SW (@ATTSportsNetSW) September 19, 2019
I don't care what the records are.
I don't care it was a 2 game series.
That is fun to say.
You know what?
I'm gonna say it again.
ASTROS SWEEP THE RANGERS!
ASTROS SWEEP THE RANGERS!
ASTROS SWEEP THE RANGERS!#Astros Post Game is starting right now! pic.twitter.com/3ZKa9ya8YL
But more importantly, the Astros won their 100th game tonight, their 3rd season in a row to reach that level. Only five other teams have had that many consecutive 100 game seasons.
Furthermore, the Astros clinched at least a Wild-Card berth, and their magic number to clinch the AL West is only two games. With a Yankees loss tonight, the Astros are now one game ahead of the Yankees for home field advantage throughout the AL playoffs. They are also a game and a half in front of the Dodgers.
The Astros are off tomorrow, before taking on the Angels for three games this weekend.
Box score and videos HERE.