NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 11: Gerrit Cole #45 of the New York Yankees pitches in the first inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Yankee Stadium on September 11, 2020 in New York City.
(Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

New York Yankees ace Gerrit Cole put his full arsenal on display Friday afternoon against the Baltimore Orioles in a shutout performance.

Who could have possible guessed that Gerrit Cole’s most important start for the New York Yankees to date would be a mid-September, seven-inning game against the Baltimore Orioles with major playoff implications?

I guess that’s 2020 for you.

Regardless, the Yankees desperately needed a win to get back on the right track. After falling to .500 on the season, the Yankees have now won two in a row, and are looking to keep that momentum rolling in their most important stretch of games.

So with that level of desperation, the Yankees turned to their ace to dominate the Orioles and he absolutely delivered. Cole threw seven shutout innings, allowing only two hits, one walk and punching out nine. He ran his fastball well into the upper 90s and had Baltimore hitters tripping over themselves on his slider.

Cole also got a boost from an offense that his been asleep at the wheel for weeks. DJ LeMahieu kicked the scoring off with a solo homer in the first inning. After a Luke Voit single, Brett Gardner hit his fourth home run of the year to give Cole a comfortable lead.

The Yankees tacked on three more runs but that first inning was all Cole needed. Fans are hoping that Friday afternoon’s version of Gerrit Cole is the one who will show up for the rest of the season and hopefully for a deep postseason run.

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