Gerrit Cole put the Yankees in another hole early on, but this time it had nothing to do with Billy Crystal.
After admitting frustration that his opening day start was delayed a few minutes as the actor and famous stripes fan threw out the ceremonial first pitch, Cole gave up some prodigious home runs to Vladimir Guerrero Jr. during of the first three innings Wednesday night to put the Yankees down three runs in an eventual 6-4 loss to the Blue Jays at Stadium.
Without full spring training following the winter lockout, Cole had lasted just four innings – allowing three earned runs early – in an eventual 6-5 win over the Red Sox in the season opener last Friday.
“I thought he continued where he left off, actually,” manager Aaron Boone said of Cole after the game. “The Boston game was the first four batters. From there, I thought he was really snappy. I thought he went on tonight and made a lot of good shots. Overall he stayed clear of errors except for a dangling slider at Vlad. … But he had a night against us.
With two outs in the first inning, Guerrero crushed a hanging slider for his first of three homers of the night, which bounced off the glove of jumping center fielder Aaron Hicks and just over the wall – confirmed via replay – to provide the Jays a 1-0 lead.
An inning later, Hicks walked on Guerrero’s bare right hand while batting an infield single, but the bloodied first baseman stayed in the game.
After the brace with a Bo Bichette out in third, Guerrero moved to knee-high infield and ripped another homer into the left field seats for a 3-0 game.
“He’s really good and was so fast on this court and did it again later against [Jonathan Loaisiga]. He had a great night,” Cole said.
Those were the only runs Cole (85 pitches) allowed, however, before Boone lifted him with two outs in the sixth, after the Yanks forged a 3-3 tie in the previous half inning. Guerrero scored a brace on the opposite court with one out, but the $324 million ace recorded one out on the ground before Chad Green ended the inning.
“Overall pretty good, it got pretty deep too,” Cole said. “A few more bullets in the clip, I might have been able to finish it. … Tough formation and we executed a lot of good throws. I didn’t go with a couple, but did with a few. I think the consistency is starting to come a bit.
New York Post