It’s almost like, when you have a chance to beat your rival in a big game, you shouldn’t blow it. Who knows what tomorrow will bring – even if tomorrow brings Gerrit Cole? That’s right. I’m still cranky about last night. Anyway, the Yanks fell 6-2 to the Red Sox despite starting Gerrit Cole, and now they can only hope to salvage a split, at best, in the biggest series of the season.
Begrudgingly, let’s get right to the takeaways.
1. Gerrit Cole is Still Gerrit Cole, But It’s Not Enough: When Gerrit Cole is on the mound, you expect to win, and honestly? The Yankees pretty much need to win every single one of his games from here on out – especially against teams ahead of the Yankees in the standings. That didn’t happen tonight, even though Cole was firing off pitches that looked like this early on in the game:
As Rob notes there, not sure you can throw a more perfect pitch in any spot. And, as usual, Cole was generating a ton of swings and misses. Check this out:
- Four-Seam Fastball: 7 whiffs on 21 swings (33%)
- Slider: 5 whiffs on 12 swings (42%)
- Curveball: 2 whiffs on 9 swings (22%)
- Changeup: 2 whiffs on 5 swings (40%)
- Total: 16 whiffs on 47 swings (34%)
Everyone spends a lot of time wondering what the post-crackdown Cole is going to be like, but I’m not all that worried. He still looks, to me at least, to be a very similar pitcher. He did rack up 8 Ks in 5 innings, after all. But, of course, that wasn’t all – Cole was also hit hard by the end of his appearance. As Lindsey noted, he was not sharp and Boston was all over him:
That all adds up to a fine, if underwhelming, performance. The Yanks’ ace went 5 innings, allowed 3 runs, walked 2, and struck out 8 in all. It’s a pretty good floor, to be honest, and it’s about as bad as Cole ever gets. The bad news is that the Yankees needed the ceiling from Gerrit Cole tonight, and they didn’t get it. Alas.
2. The RailRiders are Fun and All, but Come On: Speaking of, the Yankees need an ace-like performance from the ace in every situation because their offense is a joke. It just is. They really miss Aaron Judge. The entire lineup feels shorter without his steadying presence in the two-hole, to say nothing of Gio Urshela. So, while the RailRiders did enough to beat the Red Sox last weekend and handle the Phillies earlier this week, it was obvious to anyone that the other shoe was going to drop at some point.
We don’t need to get into specifics, because if you’ve seen any other Yankee game this year, you’ve seen this one. They went 1-9 with runners-in-scoring-position, and they left 11 on base total. Of their six hits, just two were extra-base hits (both doubles). They blew an opportunity early in the game to put pressure on the Red Sox and give Gerrit Cole more than one run to play with. They didn’t put up a fight once they were punched. And on and on and on. You know the drill.
I do want to note one thing, aside from the fact that Rafael Devers utterly owned the Yanks tonight. That is that the Yankees miss Judge in more ways than one. Look at how the Red Sox scored their first run of the night:
The Greg Allen Show has been great and all, but I don’t think the Sox score there if it’s Judge patrolling the outfield. I really don’t. Get well soon, big man. The Yankees need you.
- Gary Sánchez left the game with back spasms. Nothing is going right for the Yanks in 2021. It would almost be funny if it wasn’t so depressing. I hope he’ll be okay soon, because the Yankees cannot afford Rob Brantley to be their everyday catcher right now.
- Welcome back, Nestor Cortes Jr. It was a welcome sight to see the odd-throwing reliever back in action. We’ve missed him over the last week or so. Of course, he promptly gave up a 3-run homer to Devers, so it wasn’t a truly welcome sight. But you catch my drift.
- On a positive note, at least the Yanks managed to save some arms in the pen today. Aside from Cole and Cortes, the Yanks just used Justin Wilson. Hooray. (It’s also a good reminder to the team that they really need to loosen up the restrictions on the 3-day in a row rule from the bullpen right now.)
The Yanks and Sox will do this again tomorrow. Can’t wait! Jameson Taillon (5-4, 4.60 ERA) will try to keep his personal hot streak going against Nathan Eovaldi (9-5, 3.57 ERA). That game will take place at 4:05 pm. Enjoy the rest of your night, everyone.