This will be Cole’s fourth consecutive Opening Day start for the Yankees. He’s had his struggles in the spot. But he has put together a strong spring so far. Cole has struck out 17 batters in 11 innings with a 0.82 WHIP and no walks.
Let’s just hope Billy Crystal is not at Yankee Stadium in an official ceremonial capacity this time. A refresher:
Cole was caught on camera freaking out in the Yankees’ dugout before Friday’s thrilling extra-innings win over the Red Sox — a victory in spite of Cole — because actor Billy Crystal’s first pitch was taking longer than he wanted.
Cole then proceeded to get shellacked, giving up three first-inning runs on three loud hits — a two-run shot by Rafael Devers after a four-pitch walk to Enrique Hernandez, a stinging single by Xander Bogaerts off the lefty field wall and an RBI double by J.D. Martinez. It was eerily similar to his no-show outing against Boston in last season’s American League Wild Card loss at Fenway Park. And while Cole settled down after that, he couldn’t even get to the fifth inning before the Yankees bullpen took over, ultimately getting the no-decision.
Cole kept whining about his catastrophic inconveniencing when reporters asked about his outburst after the game.
“That was an unforeseen challenge,” he said. “The festivities got a little away from the schedule.”
First pitch was scheduled to be thrown at 1:08 p.m. It was actually delivered at 1:12 p.m.
So four minutes difference. Or 240 seconds. Either way, a bridge too far for a man who makes $36 million a year.
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