The New York Yankees picked up a much-needed victory at Tropicana Field last night, beating the Tampa Bay Rays 3-1. Everyone knows how big of a series this is for the Bronx Bombers. They came into last night having won just five of their last 18 contests against Tampa, including a 1-5 record in 2021. Winning this series is a necessity, and the Yankees have the chance to do just that tonight. Their ace Gerrit Cole takes the ball.
Cole’s stats to begin the season are absurdly good. In seven starts, Cole is 4-1 with a 1.61 ERA, 0.716 WHIP, and 66 strikeouts across 44.2 innings of work. The guy is just awesome. Worth every damn penny.
However, the Yankees are only 4-3 in games Cole has started this season. He left Opening Day against the Toronto Blue Jays with the score tied at two in the sixth inning. Cole was then given the loss on April 18 despite only allowing two earned runs over 6.1 innings, thanks to an error from Aaron Hicks allowing a third unearned run. Most recently, Cole left with the lead after seven strong innings against the Houston Astros Thursday, only for the Yankee bullpen to blow it. Across those three losses, either the Yankees’ lineup, fielding, bullpen, or a combination of the three has wasted a solid Cole effort.
Sure, it’s only a seven-start sample size. But the Yankees need to do better than a .570 winning percentage in games started by Cole. Especially when he’s throwing the ball this well. I’m not gonna lose my mind over Chad Green blowing Cole’s lead on Thursday. Green’s been lockdown, nobody can be perfect. But the Yankees need to better job of getting Cole a lead and letting him work. He’s pitching too well for them not to be winning nearly every time he toes the rubber.
Everyone agreed Cole didn’t have his best stuff tonight and he still goes six strong with eight punch outs. We are not worthy pic.twitter.com/ZlFRWHvghS
When Cole was tasked with avoiding a sweep last time he faced the Rays, the lineup & defense let him down. He was let down by the lineup & bullpen on Thursday going for the Astros sweep. The Yankees have a chance to win a series at Tropicana Field tonight with their ace on the mound. Let’s back him up.
To talk Cole, the Rays series, or anything else Yankees right now, comment below or tweet me @ncostanzo24