Coming into Tuesday evening, Yankees fans, were sweating bullets, knowing that they had to open their postseason by facing the American League triple crown winner Shane Bieber. Bieber, without question, was the best pitcher in baseball posting an 8-1 record with a league-leading 1.63 ERA and punching out 122 batters in 12 starts. However, Bieber did not have his best stuff in this one. The Yankees got to him early with a 2-run first-pitch homer off the bat of Aaron Judge driving in DJ LeMahieu in the first. This was especially big because Cole was taking the mound.
Cole’s dominant outing
Gerrit Cole was exactly what The Yankees needed him to be. He tossed seven dominant innings allowing two runs and fanning 13 batters. He also did this while throwing only 105 pitches. The Yankees needed Cole to go deep into this outing and outpitch Bieber, and that’s exactly what he did. Cole had swing and miss stuff all night as evidenced by his 13 Ks. His curveball was coming out of his hand with an extra sharp break with a bit of added velocity. It was thrown for strikes as well as a put-away pitch. In terms of velocity, it topped out at 85 mph.
Cole also had a little extra ride on his fastball as well. He racked up multiple swings and misses with it in all counts. He consistently went to it at the top of the zone with his hardest pitch coming in at a blistering 99 mph. Cole didn’t use his slider or his changeup much but they were also effective. They were mostly used as “Get me over” offspeed pitches. Hopefully, The Yankees can take care of business and Cole will get the chance to follow up on this dominant start.
Yanks break out the big lumber
In a game that The Yankee offense was supposed to struggle, they clubbed 4 homers in route to a 12-3 victory. It started quickly after a LeMahieu single to right field, Judge took a 94 mph fastball out to right-center field. Gleyber Torres followed that up with his own 2-run shot in the fifth inning. He would also bang an RBI single up the middle to complete a four for four day for him. Following that, Brett Gardner drove another two-run shot 410 feet to dead center field. Following a rough start to the game that included two strikeouts, Giancarlo Stanton destroyed a baseball over the left-field wall. This would conclude the scoring.
A look ahead
They should celebrate tonight, however, only 50 percent of the work is done. They need to come to the ballpark with the same energy tomorrow. The Yankees will face a tough “cookie” in Carlos Carrasco however, they will also send out a tough customer in Masahiro Tanaka for game two. Look for The Yankees to hit off the fastball and drive Carrasco’s pitch count up early. If they can do this they will sweep the series if they can’t however, they will struggle to win in game two.