May 21, 2021 | News | No Comments
It was a productive first inning for the Yankees as three straight singles gave them a one-run lead against the Rangers before Gerrit Cole made history by striking out the side.
From there, it wasn’t so pretty.
Cole broke the four-day-old MLB record for most consecutive strikeouts without a walk at 61, but he was catching too much of the plate Monday night. He gave up five runs on five hits, including two homers, and the Yankees lost 5-2 to the Rangers in the opener of a four-game series.
“It’s pretty cool, I wish it would have come in a win,” Cole said of his consecutive strikeout mark. “I’m kind of more focused on the fact that we lost.”
The Brewers’ Corbin Burnes had set the mark at 58 last Thursday.
“It’s a remarkable little stretch,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “It’s just a tribute to a great pitcher that’s throwing the ball really well.”
When Joey Gallo walked in the third to end Cole’s record streak, ball four skipped past catcher Kyle Higashioka and Gallo sprinted to first base before tripping on the bag and wiping out. It was Cole’s first walk since April 12.
It was rare comic relief in a sluggish outing for the Yankees, who fell to 22-19 with their second straight loss.
The Rangers’ Adolis Garcia and Willie Calhoun hit solo shots off Cole in the second and fifth innings, respectively.
Cole had seven strikeouts in five innings in the loss, which inched his ERA just above 2.00.
His 26-1 strikeout/walk ratio this season was by far the major league lead heading into Monday night’s game, but the homers that were a problem in his first season in pinstripes resurfaced Monday night. He had only given up three heading into Monday night’s game, but he gave up the third-most in baseball last year.
Cole and Boone had similar diagnoses for his first mediocre start of the season, with both saying he wasn’t “crisp,” although Cole was more specific.
Click Here: Scotland Rugby Shirt
“There were just a few sequences tonight where we threw a really excellent pitch followed by a really bad pitch,” Cole said.
“The one that chased me out was a good slider followed up by a bad slider. There was just some of that tonight… I threw some good curveballs, I threw some terrible ones. I just wasn’t stringing 3-4-5 pitches together in a row.”
Garcia’s homer was his 11th of the year, putting him just two behind Shohei Ohtani for the major league lead.
Curiously, Cole appeared done after the fifth inning, chatting with Boone and heading down the dugout steps. But he came out for the sixth, gave up a single to Garcia, and was promptly pulled. Boone said he debated taking Cole out before deciding to leave him in on a short leash.
“I think he was just in the zone a little too much in two-strike situations,” Boone said. “Just not that elite, Gerrit Cole, in his lane…he made a handful of mistakes and they put some good swings on them.”
“I was having a tough time getting in sync calling pitches to these hitters,” Higashioka said. “They took some decent swings and hit some balls hard early, and it kind of caused me to second-guess our plan a little bit.”
Albert Abreu kept the Bombers in the game with three no-hit, shutout innings behind Cole, walking two and striking out four.
Abreu was sent down to Triple-A Scranton after the game, possibly to make room for Rougned Odor’s return from the injured list.
Texas starter Jordan Lyles, who had allowed 20 runs in his last 22.2 innings, gave up just one run on six hits in six innings Monday night. The win snapped a six-game losing streak for the Rangers, who were swept twice on a road trip against the Giants and Astros.
Last year’s MLB home run leader, Luke Voit, hit his first homer of the season in the eighth inning, a 414-foot no-doubt bomb to the second level of left field seats.
The Yankees’ bats were quiet Monday night, but they did produce another first. Brett Gardner hit a triple in the fourth inning, the team’s first of the season. Every other team in baseball had at least one.