Cole, Judge lead from the front in Yankees 6-0 win over Blue Jays

aaron-judge-ny-yankees
John Allen
Wednesday September 27, 2023

Table of Contents

New York Yankees 6, Toronto Blue Jays 0

TORONTO — Gerrit Cole delivered a masterful two-hit performance, inching closer to securing his second AL ERA title, while Aaron Judge powered the New York Yankees with two home runs. On Wednesday night, the Yankees triumphed over the Toronto Blue Jays 6-0, ensuring they would not end the season with a losing record.

Cole (15-4) confronted just two batters above the minimum, conceding a single and a double to Brandon Belt. He recorded five strikeouts and issued no walks, demonstrating remarkable control as he placed 72 of his 105 pitches for strikes. These impressive stats capped off Cole’s season, during which he tallied 222 strikeouts over 209 innings.

As a frontrunner for the AL Cy Young Award, Cole further reduced his already-leading ERA to 2.63. Meanwhile, Sonny Gray of Minnesota currently holds the second spot with an ERA of 2.80 and is set to make his last regular-season appearance on Thursday. To surpass Cole in the ERA race, Gray must deliver 12 innings without conceding a run, an impressive feat that would bring his ERA below Cole’s.

The Yankees blanked Toronto for the second consecutive night, leaving the Blue Jays without a run on back-to-back evenings. As Wednesday commenced, the Blue Jays were holding the second AL wild card spot, with a 1 1/2-game lead over Houston and a two-game advantage over Seattle.

In his 300th career start, Cole achieved his fifth career shutout and eighth complete game. His lone other complete game this year was a two-hit shutout against Minnesota on April 16th.

The 33-year-old right-handed pitcher had an outstanding performance in his most recent seven starts, boasting a perfect 5-0 record with an impressive 1.29 ERA. He previously clinched the AL ERA title in 2019 with Houston when he posted a remarkable 2.50 ERA.

In his 16 career starts against Toronto, Cole extended his dominance, now holding an 8-2 record. This season, he has been particularly exceptional with a flawless 2-0 record and an astonishingly low 0.31 ERA in four starts against the Blue Jays.

New York (81-77) began the season on a strong note at 36-25 but experienced a slump, falling to 62-68. However, they bounced back by winning 19 of their last 27 games. The Red Sox’s loss ensured that the Yankees would not end up in last place in the AL East.

Returning to the lineup after a day of rest on Tuesday, Aaron Judge showcased his power by launching his 36th and 37th home runs. The reigning AL MVP sent a homer soaring to right field against José Berríos (11-12) in the fourth inning and then crushed a second-deck shot to left off Trevor Richards in the seventh. This marked Judge’s 34th multihomer game, including seven such instances this season.

Giancarlo Stanton contributed to the lead by driving in two runs with a double in the fourth inning.

José Berríos (11-12) suffered his second consecutive loss to the Yankees, surrendering four runs and five hits over six innings while notching a season-high 10 strikeouts.

In the fourth inning, Estevan Florial, the Yankees’ center fielder, executed a spectacular leaping catch at the wall to record the first out and retire Bo Bichette.

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The Toronto Blue Jays were slated to send right-handed pitcher Chris Bassitt (15-8, 3.74 ERA) to the mound, while the New York Yankees were set to have right-handed pitcher Luke Weaver (3-5, 6.47 ERA) as their starter for Thursday’s game.

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