With Gerrit Cole set to take the ball with the Yankees season on the line, here’s a look back at how the ace as fared in win or go home games.
With a crucial 5-1 Game 4 victory Thursday, the New York Yankees have forced a pivotal Game 5 with the Tampa Bay Rays in their neutral site ALDS clash in San Diego. Now with a win or go home Game 5 on tap, the Yankees will send their ace to the mound Friday as Gerrit Cole will pitch on three-days rest looking to send the Bombers to the ALCS.
The Yankees signed Cole to a nine-year, $324 million deal this past offseason in-part due to his stellar postseason success with the Houston Astros the past two seasons.
So far this postseason, Cole is 2-0 in two starts with a 3.46 ERA in two starts. In Monday’s Game 1 win over Tampa, the Yankees ace tossed six innings in which he allowed three runs, walked two, and struck out eight.
Cole has plenty of experience in win or go home games. The right-hander has pitched in two do or die postseason games with one coming with the Pittsburgh Pirates and the other with the Astros.
Here’s a look back on how he fared in those crucial outings.
2015 NL Wild Card Game
Gerrit Cole’s first career playoff game came in the form of a do-or-die 2015 NL Wild Card Game with his Pittsburgh Pirates hosting the Chicago Cubs.
Cole drew the start for Pittsburgh after watching from the dugout as the Pirates won the 2013 NL Wild Card Game but lost in 2014.
His night quickly got off to a rough start as he served up a one-run single to Kyle Schwarber in the top of the first. After a scoreless second inning, the Cubs plated two off Cole in the top of the third as Schwarber smacked a two-run home run off the right-hander.
Cole would post a scoreless fourth inning but he would be touched up one last-time before existing as Dexter Fowler took him deep for a solo home run in the top of the fifth.
His night would come to an end after 5 innings pitched, 6 hits, 4 runs, 1 walk, and four strikeouts and took the loss as the Pirates season came to an end with a 4-0 loss to their division rivals.
2019 ALDS Game 5
After shutting out the Tampa Bays in Game 2 of the 2019 ALDS over 7.2 innings, Gerrit Cole was tasked with sending Houston to the ALCS after the Rays stole Games 3 and 4 at Tropicana Field.
Pitching on just four-days rest, Cole was again dominant as he tossed eight innings, struck out 10 Rays, walked just two batters, and gave up only one run, which was an Eric Sogard solo home run.
Cole earned the victory as a result and finished the 2019 ALDS with an incredible 25 strikeouts in just 15.2 innings of work.