May 22 was so long ago, in baseball terms, it feels like another lifetime. That was also the day Gerrit Cole was rocked for six earned runs, including a pair of homers, and lost to the White Sox.
More than 160 innings later, regular and postseason combined, that start remains the last time the Astros righthander was beaten. Cole gets his next start on Tuesday night in Game 3 of the American League Championship Series at Yankee Stadium. The series is tied 1-1.
Cole's 18-0 record and 1.66 ERA in the nearly five months since strain the limits of both credulity and history. To find the last pitcher to win 18 straight decisions in the same season, you have to go back to Rube Marquard, who won 19 in a row for the 1912 New York Giants.
"We know he's going to come out hot. We know he's going to get his strikeouts. We know he's going to set a tone — he's intense," Astros Manager AJ Hinch said of Cole. "There's no mistaking him in what his priority is, which is to get deep in the game and give us a chance to win."
Game 2 AL hero
Carlos Correa's walkoff home run in Game 2 might have tipped the series in the Astros' direction. Since the best-of-seven format came to the League Championship Series in 1985, the winner of Game 2 in the ALCS has advanced to the World Series 28 times in 34 series (82%), including 19 of the past 21.
Correa's big night — he also had an RBI double — gave him 27 RBI in the postseason to pass Lance Berkman for the most in franchise history. And it was a familiar scene — in Game 2 of the 2017 ALCS against the Yankees, Correa hit a walkoff double in the ninth.
Correa entered the game in an 0-for-14 slump.
"It's been a tough road this year but I'm finally here and I was able to contribute tonight," he said.
• Yankees manager Aaron Boone said a decision won't be made until Tuesday on outfielder Giancarlo Stanton, who strained his right quadriceps in the opener and missed Game 2. If he gets dropped from the roster against the Astros, he would be ineligible to return this year.
• The Nationals will honor the WNBA champion Washington Mystics before Game 4 of the NLCS. League MVP Elena Delle Donne will throw the ceremonial first pitch.
• A paramedic was in stable condition Sunday night after being struck in the head by a hard-hit foul ball that screamed into the Astros dugout during the fifth inning of Game 2. His identity was not revealed.
• Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts and president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman will be back next season.
• The Chicago Cubs said they plan to interview former Philadelphia manager Gabe Kapler and Houston bench coach Joe Espada about their managerial opening.