Yankees’ Gerrit Cole knows the importance of winning their current series against the Astros

The former Astro comes back to Minute Maid Park on Saturday needing to end the first half of the season on a good note. The Yankees ace needs to put an end to his own personal slide and get the Bombers to the All-Star break with some momentum.

“I think, obviously, we have a good team that we’re playing against, somebody in the American League who measures themselves against the kind of the top of the league and ultimately a team that if they continue to play well, we’ll have to overcome them in the postseason,” Cole said before Friday’s game. “Just for us, as a group, it’s certainly had our ups and downs and played a decent series against Seattle. I think we’re just looking to continue that play through the break and end on a good note as a group.

“And personally to close the book on the first half on a good note as well,” Cole added. “That would be nice.”

The Yankees, who came into this series just two games above .500, have a long way to go before they can think about facing the Astros or any team in the playoffs. First and foremost, to be a team that can think about that, Cole has to get back on track.