The Yankees are preparing for Game 2 of their ALDS matchup against the Cleveland Guardians with a 1-0 series lead. Gerrit Cole pitching like an ace for the Bronx Bombers was one of the big reasons why they’re in this situation.
It was a little touch-and-go at the start, including an early home run from Steven Kwan to give Cleveland a 1-0 lead. But the right-hander buckled down and got himself under control to finish his outing by allowing just that one run on four hits, one walk, and eight strikeouts.
This is only his third trip into the postseason as a member of the Yankees, but he’s already etching his name next to other top-tier Bronx playoff performers. For instance, this is already the fourth time he’s registered at least eight strikeouts in an October start. That’s tied for the most in franchise history:
Roger Clemens: 18 starts
Mike Mussina: 15 starts
David Cone: 12 starts
Gerrit Cole: 5 starts
— YankeesMuse (@YankeesMuse) October 12, 2022
As we can clearly see with the follow-up tweet, Cole has accomplished this in just five starts. Meanwhile, David Cone, Mike Mussina, and Roger Clemens all needed at least 12 starts to join this list. The one Cole start that didn’t produce at least eight strikeouts? That’d be his AL Wild Card Game appearance in 2021 against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park that everyone is still talking about.
Let’s go through a quick rundown of the other four starts that landed him on this list in the first place:
- 2020 ALWC Game 1: 2 runs, 6 hits, 0 walks, 13 strikeouts in 7 innings
- 2020 ALDS Game 1: 3 runs, 6 hits, 2 walks, 8 strikeouts in 6 innings
- 2020 ALDS Game 5: 1 run, 1 hit, 2 walks, 9 strikeouts in 5.1 innings
- 2022 ALDS Game 1: 1 run, 4 hits, 1 walk, 8 strikeouts in 6.1 innings
So, it turns out he’s performed exactly how the Yankees would hope, outside of that one tough postseason outing last season. A somewhat sluggish end to the regular season at least opened the door for a possible Game 1 start from Nestor Cortes, but New York went with the expected decision of running Cole out there.
And after a dominant Game 1 performance from their staff ace, the Yankees now have Nasty Nestor ready to take the mound as they attempt to take a 2-0 series lead.