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October 14, 2019

Gerrit Cole

New York, New York - Workout Day

Q. Taking you back to last night, can you quantify how seismic that swing from Correa is just to get you guys here in a deadlocked series as opposed to a 2-0 deficit?
GERRIT COLE: Yeah, it was a big swing. I felt it was a little inevitable, though. I thought we were slowly building momentum throughout the game. I mean, I don't know if you could really see it in the score, obviously, because we're not scoring. And it maybe was a little bit disappointing how many runners we left in scoring position.

But the at-bats were getting better, and especially for the type of arms that were being thrown at us. It was building a little bit. And then to deliver the punch in such dramatic fashion was quite exhilarating.

Q. How many games did you attend at the old Yankee Stadium? And I was wondering who was your favorite player when you were a kid, and given your rooting interest, how meaningful is it to pitch a playoff game here at Yankee Stadium?
GERRIT COLE: I think I attended seven games. My favorite players were Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera.

Q. And to pitch at this postseason game here in the new stadium?
GERRIT COLE: Yeah, it's going to be exciting. I pitched here once before and I had a lot of fun. I always enjoy coming here and I can -- I've heard my teammates' recollection of the atmosphere here. So it just sounds like what a great stage and electric atmosphere and a great place to play some exciting baseball.

Q. Were any of the games at the old stadium postseason games that you went to?
GERRIT COLE: I don't think so.

Q. You pitched on almost every stage possible now; high school, college, in the pros. If you go back to last year ALCS at Fenway Park Game 2, is there anything you take away from that? That's thus far your biggest stage to date, that you take from that? I know it's cliche, do you try to slow yourself down or keep your approach exactly the same mentally and physically going into tomorrow night?
GERRIT COLE: Yeah, just keep it the same.

Q. The start you had against the Rangers where you gave up the nine runs, you said you were tipping pitches. How much did that kind of lead you to a search just to get it turned around because after that is kind of when you went on this run that you've been on. Is that a moment where you said, I have to figure this out because I know I can get better?
GERRIT COLE: Yeah, I never wanted to discredit the Rangers offense for what they did that day. There was a mix of hard contact and fortunate hits. If they had an inclination on what we were throwing via tipping or whatever it may be or maybe tendencies, they certainly capitalized on that. I just tried to -- I just tried to isolate it to the one start. I didn't try to make any drastic changes from that start to the next. I just kind of brushed it off and used it as like a little bit of a check like, hey, maybe that night was the perfect storm that led to that many runs.

But you can get beat by not taking care of small details and maybe it only manifests itself into one run. And so it was just a good reinforcer to just continue to try to fine tune your craft from all different perspectives but at the same time don't overreact to it, either.

Q. Going back to when you got to Houston last year and they met with you in Spring Training, do you remember the meeting when they showed you the analytics and videos, what surprised you the most and what was your first reaction to all of it? And then how difficult was it to put it into practice?
GERRIT COLE: What surprised -- well, I mean, I just hadn't dove into that whole realm much before. So I guess that was most surprising that you could even like forecast what a pitch would project to be like against the rest of the League. But it's really not that surprising because we have so many pitches thrown and so many data points.

And it wasn't hard to implement. I thought some of the changes in terms of the repertoire, I had already started the year before a little bit, which is what I think got some people's attention. And then I feel like throwing the four seam more is just more me than not. So that helped.

And I think there's three parts to your question. Which part did I miss?

Q. (No microphone.)
GERRIT COLE: Yeah, I mean it was pretty exciting. I was excited. I was looking for answers and like I said, I was already starting to figure some of that stuff out or at least kind of get in the same ballpark. But I put a lot of thought into it at that point and then to walk into a meeting and have all the questions be like, okay, you were on the right track and just keep going down it.

And then for it to compliment -- for all of it to compliment itself in terms of like just quality of pitches and then simplifying the approach and then also health-wise, like it doesn't cost as much to throw the pitch, it's just easier, all those things kind of fell into place.

Q. Last night after the game Alex said that the Astros can build a lot of momentum off that game especially when you're running four or five out there on Tuesday. When you hear things like that, and a lot of your teammates are saying similar stuff, what does that mean to you?
GERRIT COLE: Alex is everybody's best hype man. I love the energy that he brings. I'm always trying to temper that flame a little bit but it's very hard to. So I'm flattered by his comments and I'm honored. He's a great player. That has a great perspective on the game. So that's humbling to hear that come out of his mouth. I just -- I love the guy to death. I just love competing with him. And like he says stuff like that, I mean you just end up smiling.

Q. Given the similar arsenals that you and Verlander deploy, what can you learn from watching him face the Yankee lineup last night and I guess what did you take from the two games you've seen this Yankee lineup?
GERRIT COLE: Yeah, Justin is just such a model of consistency, it's so easy to learn from him, I think every time he touches the rubber.

As far as specifically to the Yankees, I mean, they're as advertised. They're extremely talented. They are extremely tough in the box. They play every pitch hard. They're always trying to put pressure on you, trying to control counts. I think that it's inevitable that guys are going to have good at-bats against you and a lot of times the test is going to be how you respond. I think for the most part we've done a good job up to this point and just looking to continue to slightly improve and continue just to keep figuring out what we think will bring us some success.

Q. Given you rooted for the Yankees as a kid, and not only the LA draft but when they went after you pretty hard a couple of years ago when the Pirates ended up trading you here to the Astros, have you ever thought about if that path had taken you to the Yankees or are you just a straight ahead guy and you don't think about alternate --
GERRIT COLE: Well, I've thought about it but it's hard not to think about it when it's like coming up in the rumors and people are asking you. As of the last two years I have not thought about it, though. I don't want to be dishonest and tell you that it didn't cross my mind. Obviously I got drafted by them so I thought about it then. And all the rumors going around it's kind of hard to control what you hear. But as of late it's just been not a thought at all.

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