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October 15, 2019

Gerrit Cole

New York, New York - postgame 3

Houston - 4, New York - 1

Q. The at-bat with Didi obviously one ball barely stays in the park. Did you think it was out? Also talk about the way you were able to get out of jams today.
GERRIT COLE: Yeah, I mean we wanted to go fastball in, we got it in for the most part. When he initially hit it, the trajectory was more towards second base or where the second baseman would normally be. We shift Didi so Altuve is in right field.

So initially off the bat I wasn't worried, and then I turned around and realized where we were playing and so I got a little worried.

Reddick kind of drifted back. He usually -- when he's got a bead on it, it keeps my blood pressure down a little bit.

But the emotions kind of followed the fly ball, right? So it was kind of like low to freaking out to not so worried anymore. And we had to make some big pitches in some spots.

The first inning DJ did a great job on a good low-and-in fastball to drive it up the middle, just classic DJ. Judge puts us in a hole, beating the shift. I don't know if he was trying or if he just got it off the end of the bat. But woke the fans up.

Still playing with the lead at that point. But needed to make some pitches. Fell behind, Gleyber wasn't going to mess around there, just on to the next one. And made another good pitch to Didi to get out of it.

A couple other jams later in the game I felt like I was Chris coming out of the gate. And then faltered a little bit with the command, a little bit self-inflicted. Once again, just boiled down to making some good pitches under pressure, getting fortunate on the Didi ball. And playing some good defense towards the end of the ball game.

Q. You're backed by Altuve and Reddick with the home runs. But that 7th inning it's still a tight game, there's a hit and run, sacrifice fly, loaded the bases with an intentional walk. What's it like to watch your lineup and watch your teammates being able to almost self-create two runs right there?
GERRIT COLE: Yeah, it's huge. Altuve is just so good at that. He can decide halfway to the plate where he's going to place the ball. I've never seen that kind of talent before in my life, and I don't know if I'll ever see it again.

I mean, the approach from the offense from the get-go has been impeccable throughout the postseason. A couple of lulls in the Tampa series with some really bad-ass relievers coming in, one after another, posed a bit of a challenge for us. And the Yankees give us the same threat. Fortunately we were able to scratch a little bit of a lead.

Like I said, another fortunate thing was that Didi hit that to right center instead of right down the line. If Didi's ball goes out, I feel like both of Maldonado's balls go out and maybe we still have the lead, I don't know. It's not up to me.

Fortunately we kept the lead and the boys just kept putting pressure on them and it paid off.

Q. You mentioned that if Didi's goes out maybe Martin's goes out. What do you think of the idea that the ball used in the postseason is different than the one in the regular season?
GERRIT COLE: I mean, I haven't really put much thought into it. I just try to respond to if it goes out or if it doesn't go out the best I can. I don't know if it was the ball or if it was the wind. It was a little chilly tonight. I'm not quite sure exactly how this park plays; I've only pitched here one other time.

But it's baseball. Did Jeter's ball really go out or did the guy reach over and pull it out? Come on (laughter).

Q. AJ defined your pitching philosophy as letting starters go deep into a game as old school. How does it kind of feel being part of a rotation that you're obviously expected to go deep as opposed to the Yankees where maybe they're putting their bullpen in a little bit later?
GERRIT COLE: Yeah, the Yankees have some fantastic starters. They just ran into the injury bug a little bit, where they haven't really been able to stretch out Seve or Pax quite like they did. Let's not sell out Tanaka's outing short in Game 1; that was fabulous.

I just feel really blessed to be here. I was here last year with two Cy Young Award winners, and I was sandwiched in between their lockers. And then towards the end of the year, Greinke likes his space so he's down on the corner, I don't get sandwiched in between two, but we still have two Cy Young Award winners and an MVP on the pitching staff two years in a row.

Geez, what a fortunate position for me to be in. There's so many opportunities to learn. I just feel real blessed.

Q. Kind of a two-parter, but you've been on such a roll where you've been so dominant for so long, and you weren't quite there for a good part of today. Do you always feel that at some point during the game you're going to get that? And is that how, you mentioned earlier you gave up a walk because you just didn't want to mess around with the guy, but you know you can get the next guy because you've been able to do it?
GERRIT COLE: That's pitching. Gleyber has been as hot as anybody. You make a couple of pitches there, and then you put some pressure on him with two fastballs just above the zone on either part of the plate, and if he doesn't bite, whatever. You've got to respond to it. You've got to move on.

As far as the roll, I just try to take it one start at a time. Obviously tonight fastball command was a bit of a struggle and for some reason it wasn't early in the inning, it was more late in the inning. I don't really have a reason for that right now, but I know it will be better next time.

But we needed to score a few runs tonight, we needed to play some sharp D, especially towards the end of the game. Again the interior defense, can't speak enough of it. And you just let Jake go out there and run down fly balls, and George go run down fly balls. It's like they're salivating out there to just go play catch. That's just what they do.

Again, really fortunate to be on such a great team with a lot of talent and a lot of great teammates.

Q. AJ said he thought you were struggling in your command and rhythm until you found your curveball. Did you feel that way?
GERRIT COLE: Yeah, I told him -- yep. I did. I won't divulge like everything I said. But I said once I found it, I felt confident having it in my back pocket if I needed to.

But the fastball command came around in the fifth. I threw a really good slider to Encarnacion that put some more pressure on us in the fifth that he hit for the double, he was just fab with the swing. But I was still pleased with that inning.

So sometimes it comes and goes, and tonight I was able to make pitches when I needed to. And next time out I'm pretty confident I'll be better.

Q. I'm sure you've been asked this in the last two rounds, but given the company you're keeping, the one you've had the last few months, have you taken time to ponder it all, the success you're enjoying, and some of the names that are being bandied about with you?
GERRIT COLE: We definitely like to celebrate the wins, that's for sure. This is a game of failure for the most part. So as a team we like to go over the successes that we have and really try to pass credit around the room, but that's probably the extent of how much time we spend on it. There's a lot more work to do and it's just too much fun to stay in the moment right now.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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