MLB

MLB Weekly Digest October 7th Edition: Cole’s Mastery Has Astros Eyeing ALCS

MLB

The last week in MLB was about a pair of teams in the playoffs who are nearing a sweep in the American League Division Series, and a team in the National League will be looking for a new manager next season.

Houston Astros Inch Closer to ALCS After Masterful Performance by Starting Pitcher Gerrit Cole

Houston Astros starting pitcher Gerrit Cole was one of the best pitchers in the American League during the 2019 campaign.

He went up several notches in his Game 2 start against the Tampa Bay Rays.

Cole tossed seven and two-thirds scoreless innings, scattered four hits, issued one walk and fanned 15 batters on 118 pitches.

He set a new franchise record for strikeouts in a postseason game, per MLB Stats.

There are just two pitchers who have had more strikeouts in a postseason game.

They’re Bob Gibson with 17 strikeouts in 1968 and Kevin Brown with 16 strikeouts in 1998.

He’s the fourth pitcher in MLB history with multiple postseason games with 12 or more strikeouts, joining Tom Seaver, Jim Palmer, and Gibson, per Sarah Langs of MLB.com.

Cole had the second-most strikeouts by a pitcher in a postseason game with one walk or fewer.

Only Gibson with 17 K’s and one walk in the 1968 World Series Game 1 had more, per Langs.

The outing by Cole was one of the better postseason performances by a starting pitcher.

Another indicator of how special this start was for Cole is he finished the game with 33 swinging strikes.

This is the most by a pitcher in a playoff game in the pitch-tracking era (since 2008), per Langs.

Cole now has 10 straight starts in which he’s struck out 10 or more batters dating back to the regular season, per MLB Stats.

The lights out start by Cole, and terrific start in Game 1 by Justin Verlander has put the Rays one game away from being eliminated.

The Astros’ starting rotation is a cheat code, as they have Zack Greinke starting in Game 3.

The prospect of facing Verlander and Cole is daunting, and Greinke is just as good as both.

Minnesota Twins Nearing Elimination After Game 2 Loss Against the New York Yankees

The Minnesota Twins are having a terrible postseason experience as they’re on the brink of elimination after losing Game 2 to the New York Yankees by an 8-2 score.

The Twins have lost 15 straight postseason games, which is the longest streak in MLB history.

The only team in MLB/NHL/NBA/NFL to lose more consecutive postseason games was the 1975-79 Chicago Blackhawks, who lost 16 straight games, per Sarah Langs of MLB.com.

The Twins have had a tough time keeping the Yankees’ lineup in check as they’ve allowed 18 runs in two games.

The entire pitching staff has been a significant disappointment for the Twins as they’re overmatched facing a talented Yankees club.

The Yankees are rolling as they’ve won 12 straight games postseason games against the Twins – a new MLB record for consecutive victories against the same postseason opponent, per MLB Stats.

The team has relied on starting pitching that’s been solid, a robust bullpen, and a deep lineup.

The Yankees had several key players injured at various points of the regular season but are healthy at the best time.

The Twins had a superb season, but they’re facing a superior team in the Yankees that presents a plethora of challenges.

New York Mets Fire Manager Mickey Callaway

New York Mets fired manager Mickey Callaway a couple of days ago, per a team announcement.

The Mets went 163-161 with Callaway as their manager for two years, and there was still one year remaining on his contract.

The team has also fired bench coach Jim Riggleman, per Jon Heyman of MLB Network.

The Mets entered the 2019 season with high expectations after making moves in the offseason to contend for a playoff spot.

One individual to keep an eye on as possibly their next manager is former player Carlos Beltran as he spent seven seasons with the Mets.

Beltran has been linked to the Mets since Callaway was fired and recently turned down an interview with the San Diego Padres, per Mark Feinsand of MLB.com.

Regardless of who becomes the next manager for the Mets, they need to prioritize improving their bullpen in the offseason, as it was a glaring weakness for them last season.

Author Profile

Chris Lacey
Chris is a 25-year old New Jersey native whose favorite sports team is the Arizona Diamondbacks. He previously attended Western New England College to study Sports Management. Chris has been following the Diamondbacks since he was 12. You can find him on Twitter [email protected]
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