HOUSTON — As outstanding as Astros starter Gerrit Cole’s 15-strikeout performance was on Saturday night in Game 2 of the ALDS, it wasn’t surprising.
Not to the Rays.
"He’s just that good,'' manager Kevin Cash said.
And definitely not to his Astros mates.
"To see Gerrit go out there and dominate the way he did, nobody was surprised because we know the preparation and work that he put in. We love playing behind him,'' third baseman Alex Bregman said. "He’s got the best stuff in baseball. He’s a bulldog on the mound. He’s more prepared than anybody.''
Manager A,J. Hinch was impressed with just about everything Cole did in the 3-1 win that gave the Astros a 2-0 lead in the best-of-five series..
"That’s an easy one to brag about because he was incredible,'' Hinch said. "He had complete command of the entire game. He lasted, you know, very deep into the game. He was strong at the end. He got punch-outs on virtually every pitch. Different areas of the strike zone. He was creative. I don’t know. It’s hard to put into words exactly what his performance meant to us tonight. But, man, he was good. What a game.''
Cole wanted to talk more about what the team accomplished than his individual achievements.
"I’m just happy we got the win,'' Cole said. "It was tight there at the end. I just was pleased with how we were going about our game plan tonight. We were executing more pitches than not. We put ourselves in a good position to go deep. We put ourselves in a good position to work out of a couple jams.''