A pair of two-run homers accounted for all the damage off Cole, the second time in the last three starts he's served up multiple long balls. The right-hander remains one of baseball's premiere strikeout artists, fanning at least eight batters in seven of his eight trips to the mound this year, and he'll take a 4.17 ERA and 74:15 K:BB through 49.2 innings into his next start Saturday, at home against the Rangers.
Cole (2-4) threw seven shutout innings, allowing just one hit with three walks while striking out 11 in an 11-0 victory against the Twins on Tuesday.
Astros hitting has not given Cole a whole lot of support this season. They certainly did Tuesday, but the right-hander didn't need it. Cole was absolutely dominate, turning in his best outing of the young season. The one hit he allowed set a new season low, and his 11 strikeouts tied a season high. Cole is just 2-4 with a 3.95 ERA, but he's been excellent in the other major categories -- 1.04 WHIP, .190 batting average against and 65 strikeouts in 43.1 innings. His next outing is scheduled to be Monday at home against the Royals.
Cole (1-4) took the loss after surrendering two runs on three hits and three walks while striking out 10 over seven innings Thursday against the Indians.
Cole fell victim to the home-run ball, as he gave up a pair of solo blasts on the way to a 2-1 loss. The 28-year-old certainly pitched well enough to win, though Trevor Bauer simply outdueled the right-hander. While Cole was saddled with the loss, it was good to see him respond from a horrific outing Saturday against the Rangers, when he allowed nine runs (eight earned) over 4.1 innings. Cole will carry a 4.71 ERA with 54 punchouts over 36.1 frames heading into his next outing Tuesday against the Twins.
Cole, who is starting Thursday against the Indians, is confident he's cleaned up his mechanical indicators that led to the worst start of his career last week, David Barron of the Houston Chronicle reports.
The Rangers teed off on Cole starting with a five-run first inning and chased him after 4.1 innings and nine runs allowed. Cole felt he was tipping his pitches and worked to clean up his mechanics between starts. "I obviously didn't ask (the Rangers) if they knew what was coming, but I had kind of a gut feeling, and some of the guys on our team kind of identified what they could potentially be seeing," he said. "I had changed my set position a little bit from last year and actually anticipated maybe a little bit of a an adjustment period, and unfortunately it all came crashing down in one game." While the start against Texas was a bad one, Cole was able to clean it up somewhat over the latter half of the outing.
Cole believes he may have been tipping his pitches during the first inning of Saturday's 9-4 loss to Texas, Brian McTaggart of MLB.com reports.
Cole allowed five first-inning runs on the way to his shortest outing (4.1 IP) since joining the Astros prior to the 2018 season. "I think they were maybe a little bit of a step ahead of me in terms of maybe being able to identify what pitch I was throwing," said Cole. "I made some adjustments throughout the game and that seemed to clean that up, and by the time I got to the fifth, I was dog tired and started to spray again." While watching video after the game, Cole said he could tell what pitches he was going to throw and assumes the Rangers knew it as well. The right-hander will attempt to clean it up before his next start Thursday at home against the Indians.
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