Everyone is unbeatable. Until they lose.
Everyone is infallible. Until they fail.
Garrit Cole was invincible. He was an automatic W. The narrative was, Cole starts Game 1, Game 4, Game 7, that’s three wins. All the Astros have to do now is just win one other game.
Game 1 was a guaranteed win for the Astros. Cole hadn’t lost since May. He was totally dominating in the playoffs. He was pitching at home. He was Gerrit Cole.
Except nobody told that to the Washington Nationals, who had been sitting for a week. They were supposed to be rusty.
That rust lasted one inning. They jumped on Cole early and often, getting five runs out of him. The last time he suffered a loss, May 22, was the last time he allowed as many as five runs. In fact, in his final twenty-two regular season starts and his three post-season starts, he had allowed more than two runs twice. That’s how dominating he had been. He came into last night’s Game 1 with a post-season ERA of 0.40.
The Nationals didn’t care. They came off a sweep in their pennant series and weren’t really in a mood to lose. Washington’s baby superstar, Juan Soto, just 20 years old, drive in three of the Nationals five runs with the game-tying home run in the third and what would prove to be the game-winning two-run double in the fifth.
The Astros lost Game 1 of their Championship Series then came storming back to win, so no panic in Houston. Expect, Gerrit Cole didn’t lose. Verlander and Greinke were hittable. Cole wasn’t. Until now.
Maybe Washington has a shot after all.
Stephen Strasburg vs. Justin Verlander
Game time: 7:08 on FOX