ANAHEIM, California – Gerrit Cole essentially said that enough is enough.
The right-hander, with his club stumbling a bit after a winning streak of 13 games, made sure the Yankees’ four-game losing streak stopped there, hitting 15 over seven electric innings Wednesday night in a 4-1 win over the Angels at Angel Stadium.
“Just complete dominance,” Aaron Judge said. “That was what we needed out of our ace today, especially after the long one [winning] line [13 in a row] . . . and the last four games just don’t get the job done. He’s our guy. It’s the one we want on the mound any situation we need to come out with a win, and he showed it tonight. All his seats worked. I felt like he was in control the whole game. “
The Yankees (77-56), who finished this three-city, nine-game tour with a 5-4 record, pulled within seven games of the Rays in the American League East, but were two games ahead of the Red Sox, who beat Tampa Bay Wednesday , for AL’s top wild-card slot.
Cole, a native of Orange County and therefore pitched in front of a host of family friends, allowed one run and four hits. Cole, who came to the night 3-0 with a 0.51 ERA in his last three starts since coming from COVID-19 IL, improved to 14-6 with a 2.73 ERA.
“Dominant,” Aaron Boone said. “He’s obviously had some really good ones in his career, and certainly with us the last two seasons, it was for me up there. I mean, it was a guy in control. I felt like one step ahead of these guys all day, I felt that his fastball was probably as good as it has been all year. And just had a little bit of it all going. “
In particular, Cole’s fastball helped him record the 15 strikeouts – which correlated with him developing a career-best 32 turns-and-misses, according to JA – and the performance gave him nine games with the least strikeouts this season, which bound him with David Cone (1998) for most such games in franchise history.
“I made it [the fastball] pretty much where I wanted, “said Cole, who beat the Angels’ two-way phenomenon Shohei Ohtani, an amazing fastball hitter, on 98, 99 and 99 mph fastballs.” Good day for fastball. “
The Yankees, 1-for-10 with six stranded in Tuesday night’s 6-4 loss, got a big two-out, two-run single in the third from Luke Voit, an RBI single by Brett Gardner in the fourth to 3. -0 and the referee’s 30th homer of the season, a rocket to the left in eighth that made it 4-1. Referee went 2-on-3 with a walk to improve to 18 for his last 36.
The Angels (66-68) finally came to Cole in the sixth when Jack Mayfield, who hit a grand slam on Monday night, started with a single and leadoff man David Fletcher laced an RBI double in the hole in the left-center to make it 3-1. However, Cole knocked Ohtani out for the third time, Phil Gosselin swung by a shooter and Jared Walsh — on his 101st lane — with a 100 mph speed ball. Cole, who credited catcher Kyle Higashioka and his game plan, hit two more in the seventh and finished it to 116 places, his second-highest total this season behind the 129 he threw in a 1-0 shutout on July 10 in Houston.
“I don’t know if it’s as much I’m helping as he’s just playing well right now,” Higashioka said. “His fastball was electric. And he threw off-speed (pitches) right out of it, and it just kept everyone out of balance.”
Higashioka, who called the outing “special,” smiled at remembering Cole’s warm-up before the game.
“I actually thought his bullpen was pretty bad,” Higashioka said. “But it’s usually an indicator that he’s going to get a good game. So as soon as he beat Ohtani the first time, I was like ‘OK, he’s called up’.”
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