The Houston Astros' right-hander saw his 11-game streak of recording 10-plus strikeouts come to an end as he punched out seven Yankees over seven scoreless innings.
Cole was lifted in favor of Joe Smith ahead of the eighth, and while the bullpen surrendered a run, they managed to hang on for a 4-1 victory.
The last time Cole failed to register 10 or more strikeouts in a start came on Aug. 1 when he struck out four Cleveland Indians over seven innings.
Cole allowed four hits while matching a career high with five walks on 112 pitches.
As shaky as the outing was at times, Cole seemed to find his groove as the game wore on. He retired the final seven batters he faced and hit 99 mph on the radar gun on each of his last three pitches.
Altogether, the soon-to-be free agent allowed just one earned run over 22 2/3 innings (0.40 ERA) across three postseason starts in 2019.
Cole has been immense over his last 25 starts (regular season and postseason combined), going 19-0 with a 1.59 ERA, 0.81 WHIP, and a ludicrous 13.7 K/9.