We will be providing live game updates and analysis throughout game 5 of the ALDS.
These updates will focus primarily on former Pirates Gerrit Cole, Tyler Glasnow, and Austin Meadows.
Top of First Inning
In the battle we've been waiting for, Gerrit Cole strikes Austin Meadows out on a beauty of a slider on the inside corner. 1 out.
Tommy Pham couldn't keep up with Cole's high heat. Another strike out for Cole. Looking dominant early. 2 outs.
Cole walks Ji-Man Choi on a full count. Cole's pitch count could be an issue. 16 pitches so far.
Travis d'Arnaud lines out to center. 3 outs.
Looks like the Rays are focusing on making Cole pitch. They were patient even when striking out. Trying to get to the Houston bullpen ASAP.
Bottom of First Inning
George Springer singles on a weak liner to left.
Michael Brantley singles on another liner to left. Springer hustles to third. Runners on the corners. Early trouble for Glasnow.
Jose Altuve drives in the first run of the game with a liner to right. Brantley moves to third. 1-0 Astros.
Mound visit for Tampa. Snell is already up in the bullpen. They're not taking any chances.
Alex Bregman with a gap shot to right. Two more runs score. Glasnow is getting shelled. 3-0 Astros.
Glasnow gets Yordan Alvarez on a slow grounder to short. Let's see if that settles Glasnow down a bit. He hit 100 twice in that at bat. Great play by Adamis to get Alvarez at first.
Yuli Gurriel with another single to left. Another run scores. 4-0 Astros.
Glasnow gets Carlos Correa swinging. First K of the night for him. 2 outs.
Josh Reddick strikes out to end the inning.
Tyler Glasnow had a very shaky inning. It wasn't the control problems that plagued him in Pittsburgh. The Astros just hit him.
Top of Second Inning
HOME RUN Eric Sogard on the first pitch from Cole. Short shot to right field. 4-1 Astros.
Cole gets Avisail Garcia to ground out to third. 1 out.
Cole gets Joey Wendle on the appealed swing. Wendle worked that at bat though. Cole at 29 pitches. 2 outs.
Kevin Kiermaier goes down swinging. 3 outs.
The Rays get to Cole on that Sogard homer, but Cole brushed it off and dominated the next three batters. His pitch count is 33. Not too high, but something to watch.
Bottom of the Second Inning
Glasnow back out after the tough inning. Gets Maldonado to pop out to short. 1 out.
Glasnow get Springer this time on three pitches. 2 outs.
Brantley battled in this at-bat but flew out to shallow left. Adames made the catch. 3 outs.
After a very tough first, Glasnow was much better in this inning. He retired the first 2 batters on 4 pitches before that battle with Brantley.
Top of the Third Inning
Adames with a chopper to third. GREAT play by Bregman to pick and and get him at first. 1 out.
Austin Meadows with a HIGH fly out to right. 2 outs.
Pham with the hard liner to deep right. Easy play though. 3 outs.
That was the inning Cole needed. Only eight pitches. That should buy him an extra inning perhaps.
Score is still 4-1 Astros.
Bottom of the Third Inning
Glasnow gets Altuve to pop up to second. 1 out.
Bregman grounder to short. Adames with a sliding play on his backhand. Choi with the split to get him. Great play. 2 outs.
That's it for Tyler Glasnow. Too bad too. It looked like he was settling down, but this is an elimination game and you got to go for it as a manager.
Blake Snell is on the mound now for Tampa.
Snell gets Alvarez to fly out to deep left after a nine-pitch at-bat. 3 outs.
Disappointing to see Glasnow set down early. The Glasnow/Cole matchup didn't really live up to the billing.
Top of the Fourth Inning
Choi was very patient waiting for his pitching. Slaps one to left for the single.
Cole looked frustrated throughout that at-bat.
Travis d'Arnaud gives Cole another battle, but eventually goes down swinging. 1 out.
Cole is at 52 pitches. Sogard is up now. He homered in his first AB.
Sogard goes down swinging. Six Ks for Cole. 2 outs.
Cole gets Garcia on a comebacker to the mound. 3 outs.
Cole looks in control right now. Choi frustrated him during that first at-bat. Cole thought Jerry Meals jipped him on a couple pitches. But, the next three batters couldn't touch him.
Bottom of the Fourth Inning
Snell gets Gurriel to fly out to center after a tough at-bat. Gurriel fought off several strikes. Ten pitch AB for Gurriel. 1 out.
Correa with a LOUD fly out to left-center. Crowd thought it was gone. 2 outs.
Reddick goes down swinging for the final out. 3 outs.
That might have been one of the tougher 3-up, 3-down innings of Snell's career. Threw 10 pitches to Gurriel, almost gave up a long ball to Correa, and had to work for the strikeout of Reddick. I think he's done soon.
Top of the Fifth Inning
Cole gets Wendle to ground softly to short. 1 out.
Kiermaier hit a slow grounder to second. Almost beat out the throw. 2 outs.
Cole is having a really efficient inning so far. That pitch count is becoming less of an issue.
Cole is pumped up after striking out Adames looking. 3 outs.
Cole has been as-advertised in this one. That lone mistake against Sogard is his only blemish. He looks fantastic.
On a side note, the game announcers stated that the Pirates are one of the only three teams with more players on IR than the Rays. So, we're beating them at something.
Bottom of the Fifth Inning
As I thought, new pitcher for the Rays. Chaz Roe is on the mound.
Maldonado pops up softly to Choi at first on Roe's first pitch. 1 out.
Roe gets Springer to ground out to short. 2 outs.
Chaz Roe did what he needed to do and the Rays are going to the pen again.
Ryan Yarbrough is the new pitcher.
Brantley walks, and that'll do it for Yarbrough.
Nick Anderson is on the mound for Tampa.
On the first pitch, Altuve flies out to right to end the inning. 3 outs.
Three different pitchers that inning for the Rays. They are certainly playing this like an elimination game. Even if the exhaust the bullpen, they have Charlie Morton should they need him for extra inning work.
Top of the Sixth Inning
Meadows starts the inning off with a well-hit out to center. 1 out.
Correa just robbed Pham of a hit. Got it on his backhand and got it out of his FAST and to first in time for the out. 2 outs.
Cole gets his eighth strikeout. This time it was Choi. 3 outs.
Cole with another efficient inning. Some great defense from Correa helped make it shorter.
Bottom of the Sixth Inning
Anderson remains in the game for the sixth.
Bregman goes down swinging at one in the dirt. He really didn't like that second called strike. It looked off the plate from here. 1 out.
Alvarez strikes out swinging as well. Anderson had a couple of nasty curveballs to get him ahead in the count before punching him out with some heat. 2 outs.
Gurriel lines out to left. Great play by Meadows to come in and make the sliding catch. 3 outs.
After a flurry of runs early, both teams' bats have quieted down. Anderson looked really good in that inning.
Top of the Seventh Inning
Cole will start the seventh.
Cole walks d'Arnaud. He doesn't look as powerful right now as he did early on. Fastball has been 95 MPH. In the earlier innings it was consistently 98 MPH.
If Sogard can get him again, this one gets interesting.
Cole gets Sogard to fly out to left. 1 out.
Cole's first pitch to Garcia was 98 MPH. Nevermind that previous comment.
Garcia grounds into a DOUBLE PLAY to end the inning. Third to second to first. 3 outs.
The Astros have all the energy right now. That double play got them charging off the field, patting each other on the back. The Rays have six outs left in their season.
Bottom of the Seventh Inning
New pitcher again fro the Rays - Diego Castillo.
Correa goes down swinging. Castillo gets his first batter. 1 out.
Reddick with a lazy fly to center. Should have been caught, but Kiermaier was concerned about a collision. Castillo didn't look impressed.
That'll do it for Castillo.
Colin Poche is now pitching for the Rays.
Kyle Tucker (pinch hitting for Maldonado) strikes out swinging. 2 outs.
Poche is now down. The crowd is letting the Rays have it right now for all these pitching changes. It's working though. The Astros haven't had a hit since the first inning.
Emilio Pagan is in now for the Rays.
Pagan gets Springer swinging to end the inning. 3 outs.
With two pitching changes, that was a pretty long inning. Cole has been waiting in the dug out for a while. It'll be interesting to see if he comes out cold.
Top of the Eighth Inning
First pitch from Cole is way off target.
Harris is up in the bullpen.
97 MPH from Cole after 99 pitches.
Cole gets Wendle swinging. 9 Ks for Cole. That was his 100th pitch and it was 99 MPH. The "cold" thing was a dumb thought. 1 out
Kiermaier goes down swinging. 10 Ks now for Cole. 2 outs.
Adames grounds out to second. 3 outs.
Gerrit Cole is pitching his trademark game right now. It's really a shame he gave up that early homer. A game like this would have looked really nice with a zero in the run column.
Bottom of the Eighth Inning
Pagan remains in for the Rays.
HOME RUN! Michael Brantley adds to the lead with a line drive to right. It got out quickly. 5-1 Astros.
BACK-TO-BACK! Jose Altuve launched one to left-center. 6-1 Astros.
Altuve is fun to watch. He's like a kid in the dugout.
Bregman almost made it three straight, but hooked it foul.
Bregman pops up to right for the first out. 1 out.
I'm wondering if the insurance runs mean Cole goes out for the complete game.
Pagan walks Alvarez on four-straight pitches. That'll bit it for Pagan. I'm surprised it took so long.
Brendan McKay on the mound now for Tampa.
Gurriel sends one to the warning track for a very long out. 2 outs.
They are reviewing whether or not Alvarez touched second on his way back to first.
He crossed second base, but after the ball was caught, it doesn't look like he touched again on his retreat to first.
The review concludes that he did. I disagree.
Carlos Correa goes down on strikes after the appeal to first. 3 outs.
Fun inning. Two homers. A couple near misses. A very odd review that I thought they got wrong. Now, the Rays have 3 outs to get 5 runs.
Top of the Ninth Inning
Cole's night is done. Osuna is in to finish this off.
Cole's line: 8 IP, 10 Ks, 2 BBs, 2 hits, 1 ER.
Meadows pops up to center for the first out. Meadows finishes the night hitless. 1 out.
Pham pops up into foul territory for the out. 2 outs.
Osuna gets Choi swinging. 3 outs.
Astros win 6-1.
Gerrit Cole was absolutely dominant in this one. Glasnow had a horrible first inning, but was starting to get it together before the Rays went to the pen. Meadows, like the rest of his teammates, struggled mightily against Cole.
Cole's next appearance will likely be game 3 against the Yankees.
Thanks to all who followed along.