The Astros made a splash on Saturday night with their acquisition of Pirates ace Gerrit Cole. Since the Pirates have yet to visit Houston since Cole's debut in 2013, though, he has never pitched at Minute Maid Park ...
... in the Majors, at least. Back in college, Cole led a formidable UCLA rotation with Indians starter Trevor Bauer, and in 2009, the Bruins traveled to Minute Maid Park for the Houston College Classic. The Bruins' social media team made sure that Cole's experience was not forgotten:
On Feb. 28, Cole faced Baylor and put in a fine performance, striking out eight batters across six innings, allowing just one unearned run and two hits, though he did surrender five walks. Unfortunately, Cole didn't get any run support during his outing and he was the hard-luck loser.
Cole is a much different pitcher than he was then, though, and the Astros can't wait for him to toe the Minute Maid Park pitcher's mound once again in 2018.