Gerrit Cole did another big inning.
It wasn’t the nightmare of six runs two weeks ago, or the five-run frame from the start. But it was enough to send the faltering Yankees to a 5-2 loss against the Blue Jays at the Stadium on Saturday.
Cole was booed when he left the mound in the fifth inning after giving up four runs, partly due to his own misstep in the field. And he screamed and hit the roof of the log twice in impotent frustration.
“That mistake sucks. I made good pitches to [Alejandro] Kirk, but he just put that flyout between our defenders in left midfield. I made the pitches to get out, but by that point the damage was already done,” said Cole, who is praised as an ace and paid to be a stopper. “It’s a tough one, it’s a frustrating ending there.”
It continued a worrying trend: Cole couldn’t work his way out of a glitch. By allowing a walk and his own unusually poor fielding, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Kirk for a pair of two-run doubles.
“One of those innings that has teased him on a few outings where it’s not like he’s getting hit all over the yard, just a few things snowballing there,” said manager Aaron Boone with a shrug. “Gerrit is a very good fielding pitcher, so I know he’s frustrated about that.
“And then he obviously loses his footing trying to get the nil, and then Kirk got him on a not bad pitch too. He got it where he wanted, above the zone. And that was the difference. So frustrating inning there .”
That is becoming a trend for Cole, who beat Mitch White and allowed no hit for 4 ¹/₃ innings.
Cole started his July 29 start against Kansas City with a 9-3 record and a 3.09 ERA. But he handed over a fifth inning of five runs to the Royals that evening, then coughed up six runs in the first inning on his next start, against the Mariners on August 3.
After those two starts, he settled in and allowed only a lone run in his next 22 ¹/₃ innings – through Saturday.
After striking out Matt Chapman, Cole gave up his first basehit of the day, a double to Santiago Espinal, then paid for nibbling the zone when he walked Danny Jansen. He then allowed Bradley’s double down the left field line and Raimel Tapia defeated short stop Isiah Kiner-Falefa’s throw for an infield hit.
Then Vladimir Guerrero Jr. another infield hit when Cole slipped for the mound while trying to field the ball. Guerrero was issued, but the call was overturned by a challenge. Kirk’s double to center left did the rest of the damage.
“For us it’s only one game at a time now. So, in terms of how I feel right now, I feel like I didn’t fucking let Jansen out, and I should have made that play,” Cole said. I would feel less bad about it if we weren’t in the rut that we were, but I’d still feel bad about it, so that’s where I am.”
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