ALDS: Astros, Cole Finally Tame the Rays

Published on 11-Oct-2019 by Alan Adamsson

MLB    MLB Daily Update

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ALDS: Astros, Cole Finally Tame the Rays

Now, this is a lineup that can lay some serious lumber into an early inning.

And every other inning, too, for that matter.

So, while the St Louis Cardinals got the headlines for a 10-run first inning explosion that even they probably can't explain, the Houston Astros settled for one of their routine patented attacks to open Game 5 of the ALCS.


It produced four first-inning runs and gave ace Gerrit Cole all he needed to pitch them into the American League Championship Series with a routine 6-1 defeat of Tampa Bay's feisty Rays.

As opposed to, say ...

  • the Washington Nationals, who needed to deploy their starters in all sortsa roles to survive a five-game series, or
  • the Rays themselves, who damn near created the concept of pitchers as interchangeable parts ...


The 'Stros are stocked with a killer starting rotation and an effective bullpen. They are built for the long haul of a seven-game series.

Cole put on a clinic, punching out 10 while allowing a mere two hits and a pair of walks. All he needed for support was his hitters' opening salvo, and this series was in the books:


Simply put, Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash had run out of buttons to push.

And the Astros may have taken longer than the Yankees to set up what should be a monumental post-season classic, but they're battle-tested and they're there.