When did Gerrit Cole find out he’d be starting Game 5 of the ALDS on Friday night on three days’ rest if there was going to be a Game 5?
Pretty much when he signed his nine-year, $324-million contract with the Yankees last offseason.
"Nobody needed to tell me that," Cole said of whether he was going to start the game that will determine whether the Yankees advance to the ALCS to face his old team, the Houston Astros.
Of course Cole is going to get the ball on Friday against the Rays in the deciding game of the best-of-five series at Petco Park in San Diego.
Cole has never pitched on three days’ rest, but he’s seen enough big-time pitchers do it in the postseason that he doesn’t think it’s going to be a big deal
.In fact, when Cole was asked what the biggest challenge of starting on short rest will be, he said: "The Tampa Bay Rays! They’re a good club. They’ve been playing really good baseball and they’re going to put up a fight tomorrow, just like we will. So we’ll have to be sharp."
Manager Aaron Boone made it official after the Yankees staved off elimination with a 5-1 victory in Game 4. Rays manager Kevin Cash said Game 2 starter and winner Tyler Glasnow will start on two days’ rest.
Cole was the winning pitcher in Game 1 on Monday. He allowed three runs in six innings in the Yankees’ 9-3 victory.
Cole said he started preparing for a Game 5 start "after the first game. After we won tonight, and there’s officially a game tomorrow, then that’s when smiled at me and said, ‘You’re going tomorrow.’ And I said, ‘OK.’"
Said Game 4 starter Jordan Montgomery: "If we’re going to have somebody out there, I want it to be him."
Cole will be making his 13th postseason start. He is 8-4 with a 2.75 ERA with the Pirates, Astros and Yankees. But, not having gone on short rest before, it’s something he researched.
"I’ve spoken to a few guys that have done it before," Cole said before referencing CC Sabathia, Justin Verlander and Zack Greinke. "It’s not something that’s probably sustainable for the whole season. Certainly the human body is capable of doing it. . . . It is what it is. You’ve just got to go out and do your job. When the lights turn on, it doesn’t matter if it’s three, four, five, six, seven days. You’ve got to do your job."