September 19, 2021

Schandenfreude 320 (A Continuing Series)

Ken Davidoff, Post:

In what could be his final Yankee Stadium appearance of 2021, Gerrit Cole walked off the mound to a sixth-inning chorus of boos.

Not platinum-level boos, mind you. Gary Sanchez gets booed louder for using the interpreter to which he is entitled. Nevertheless, undoubtedly, boos.

It's what happens when you lose a huge game to the embarrassing tune of 11-1, their second straight embarrassing defeat to the sub-.500 [Clevelands]. And fair or not, unless the Yankees (83-67) — now 1¹/₂ games behind the Blue Jays (84-65) for the American League's second wild-card slot — can pull off one hell of a revival and save their season in these final two weeks, Cole's first full season in the pinstripes . . . will be remembered . . . for the handful of pivotal games in which he performed quite poorly. . . .

The same situation occurred June 27 at Fenway Park, when Cole got hammered for six runs (five earned) by the Red Sox as the Yankees tried and failed to avoid a weekend sweep. And June 3 in The Bronx as the Yankees attempted to register a series win over the Rays and instead saw Cole give up five runs over five innings. And July 29 at Tropicana Field when the Yankees hoped to sweep past the Rays, only for Cole to allow eight runs (seven earned) in 5¹/₃ innings. . . .

[I]t didn't help that Cole's teammates with bats greeted [Cleveland] starter Eli Morgan, who began the day owning a 6.03 ERA, with minimal firepower. . . .

This is New York, where spending the most money in the league (and ranking among the highest average ticket price) is supposed to get you at least a seat at the October dance. And where Cole took them further away from that with time running out.

Where Cole, his next assignment Friday night at Fenway, surely hopes he gets another 2021 opportunity to improve the soundtrack of his season.

Kristie Ackert, Daily News, September 18, 2021:

This is why Gerrit Cole is here. The Yankees gave the right-hander a record-setting contract for a pitcher in December 2019 for the games he will start down the stretch. The ace will take the ball on Sunday against Cleveland looking to get the Yankees back on track after a bad 11-3 loss Saturday. . . . 

"[Y]ou can challenge yourself to rise to the occasion," Cole said Saturday . . .

Joel Sherman, Post, September 18, 2021:

[Gerrit] Cole needs to be a hero Sunday . . .

The Yankees' final six regular-season series of 2021 had set up as nine games against weak foes — the Orioles, [Cleveland] and [Texas] — followed by three at both Boston and Toronto before three to end the year versus the Rays. If Cole does not help the Yankees beat [Cleveland] in the series finale Sunday, they will have split six games against Baltimore and Cleveland. And the Yankees are 19-29 against the Red Sox, Blue Jays and Rays. . . .

That's why these are playoff games now for the Yankees . . .

On Sunday . . . they need a hero.

 

CLE - 203 011 121 - 11 16  0
MFY - 001 000 000 -  1  8  2

Cleveland (a team that has been no-hit an unprecedented four times this season) is the first team to score 11+ runs against the Yankees in consecutive games (11-3, 11-1) since the Phillies did it on June 22-23, 2015 (11-8, 11-6).

The Yankees have allowed 11+ in three consecutive games only once, when the Red Sox beat them 15-8, 11-3, and 13-2 (G1) on June 20-22, 1912. The Red Sox beat them in G2 on June 22, but came up one run shy, 10-3. Those games are also the only time the Yankees have allowed 10+ runs in four consecutive games.

Peter Botte, Post:

The Yankees couldn't even count on Gerrit Cole to keep them in a game they sorely needed to win, and the antsy Bronx fans let him and this flailing team know about it.

The $324 million pinstriped ace heard boos while exiting the Stadium mound Sunday after getting pelted for a season-high tying seven earned runs, as [Cleveland] blasted the sloppy Yankees for a second consecutive day, 11-1, at the Stadium.

After getting outscored Saturday and Sunday by an ugly 22-4 aggregate, the Yankees have slid 2½ games behind Boston and 1½ behind Toronto in the AL wild-card picture. . . .

[The Yankees] lost for the 15th time in [their last] 22 games . . . 

Cole . . . cough[ed] up seven runs on 10 hits (his most in 40 starts as a Yankee) over 5²/₃ innings to raise his ERA from 2.75 to 3.03. He was booed as he headed to the dugout . . .

Cole had pitched to a 1.35 ERA while giving up just five earned runs over his previous six outings . . . He matched that run total over Sunday's first three innings, however, surrendering two runs in the first and three in the third.

Harold Ramirez accounted for four of those early RBIs, with a two-run single to right in the first and another to left-center — between diving outfielders Brett Gardner and Aaron Judge — two innings later. . . .

Jose Ramirez and Perez took Cole deep in the fifth and sixth, respectively . . . 

The Yankees managed just one run . . . on six hits over six innings against Cleveland rookie Eli Morgan, who came in with a 2-7 record and a 6.03 ERA in his first 15 career starts.

Kristie Ackert, Daily News:

Gerrit Cole talked about how much he enjoyed pitching in games like this. On Saturday, he compared these must-win regular-season games to the playoffs and said he enjoyed the challenge. A day later, the Yankees ace was not enjoying it at all. Cleveland embarrassed Cole with a season-high 10 hits off him and the Yankees 11-1 at the Stadium. . . .

The Yankees (83-67) are losing ground fast in their pursuit of a playoff spot. With both the Red Sox and Blue Jays winning Sunday, the Yankees are now 1.5 games out of the final American League wild card spot. . . .

Cole gave up seven runs, including two home runs. He walked one and struck out four. It was the sixth time this season Cole allowed multiple home runs and the first time since he gave up three in Fenway on June 27.

Cole was supposed to be the firewall against losing streaks and the horse that would carry the Yankees down the stretch. Instead, he put their struggling offense into a hole early and cost them one of their most disastrous losses of the season. . . .

It was pretty clear early it wasn't going to be Cole's day. He began the game by getting ahead of Bradley Zimmer 0-2 and then hitting him. Then with a one-out walk to Jose Ramirez, Cleveland scored on Harold Ramirez's single. After a clean second inning, the top of Cleveland's order pounced on him again. Zimmer and Jose Ramirez singled this time to be driven home again by Harold Ramirez.

Cole pitched a clean fourth, but gave up a lead off homer in each of the next two innings to Jose Ramirez and Roberto Perez. He left to boos in sixth inning . . .

Cleveland was taking comfortable swings against Cole, leading to speculation he might have been tipping his pitches. Two scouts in the ballpark felt like Cleveland had figured something out, because they were hunting the fastball down and sitting on the sliders and changeups. . . .

[T]he Yankees were held to three runs Saturday and outscored 22-4 over the two games. . . . [T]hey looked lifeless as they went down quickly at the end with eight of the last nine Yankees batters striking out, including all three in the ninth inning.

AL East

Rays       92  58  ----
Red Sox    86  65   6.5
Blue Jays  84  65   7.5
Yankees    83  67   9.0
Orioles    47 102  44.5

AL Wild Card
Red Sox    85  65  +1.0
Blue Jays  84  65  ----
Yankees    83  67   1.5
Athletics  81  67   2.5
Mariners   80  69   4.0

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