Gerrit Cole reclaims his Yankees’ ace status, rebounds with 1st win of 2024

Yankees ace Gerrit Cole pitches against the Blue Jays in Toronto on June 30, 2026.
NYY
Sara Molnick
Monday July 1, 2024

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Gerrit Cole, the reigning Cy Young winner, delivered an impressive performance in the Yankees’ 8-1 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays on Sunday, allowing New York to split the series. In his third start of the season following an elbow inflammation setback, he demonstrated significant improvement from his previous outing.

The ace pitched five innings for the first time this season, throwing a season-high 90 pitches with 61 strikes. Gerrit Cole held Toronto to three hits, one earned run, one walk, and struck out six batters. The Blue Jays’ lone run against the Yankees’ top arm came from Justin Turner’s RBI single in the third inning.

Yankees manager Aaron Boone commended Gerrit Cole’s performance, highlighting his strong mound presence and game control. Boone noted this outing as a crucial step in the ace pitcher’s recovery process.

“That was Gerrit out there,” an elated manager said. “Felt like he had a great presence to him, that quiet intensity, but also very much in control of the game and his rhythm. … Another big step. But I thought his energy and mound presence was excellent today.”

Gerrit Cole’s dominance discernible for Yankees

His fastball velocity was particularly encouraging, peaking at 97.6 mph and averaging 95.8 mph. Gerrit Cole leaned heavily on his fastball, which accounted for 53% of his pitches, while also incorporating his slider, cutter, and knuckle curve.

Yankees ace Gerrit Cole is in action against the Blue Jays in Toronto on June 30, 2026.
X-@YESNetwork

Throughout his appearance, Gerrit Cole generated 12 swings and misses. Despite hitting two batters, his overall performance (1-1, 6.23 ERA) alleviated concerns raised by his previous start, particularly regarding velocity and control issues.

This strong showing from Gerrit Cole provides a boost to the Yankees‘ rotation and signals his progress in returning to his Cy Young-winning form.

In his third start since returning from the injured list, Gerrit Cole’s fastball maintained consistency throughout his appearance. This was a marked contrast to his previous start, where his velocity noticeably dipped after the first inning. His final pitch, a 96.5 mph fastball, resulted in a looking strikeout for Spencer Horwitz.

Yankees manager Aaron Boone lauded Gerrit Cole’s performance, emphasizing his excellent presence on the mound, command of the game’s rhythm, and the quality of his pitches, particularly his curveball and fastball. Boone noted that this outing represented a positive step in the pitcher’s recovery process.

“I thought Gerrit was excellent,” Boone said. “I thought his stuff was good. I thought he had a good curveball going today, the heater was good. Another good step. His energy and mound presence was excellent today. That was Gerrit Cole out there today.”

New York Yankees pitcher Gerrit Cole throws during second-inning baseball game action against the Toronto Blue Jays in Toronto, Sunday, June 30, 2024
Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP

Gerrit Cole himself focused on improving his command, viewing this start as a crucial part of his build-up process. He expressed satisfaction with his progress, acknowledging that while his command isn’t yet perfect, he feels close to regaining full strength. The Yankees ace compared his current status to where he would typically be around April 1 in a normal season, considering this was his sixth start, including rehab assignments.

”I thought it was good cruising speed all game,” he said. “Found a nice sweet spot to settle in. … I thought it was a good blend of stuff and command. Pitched pretty smart for the most part. So it was a good day.”

The concerns after Gerrit Cole’s previous outing against the Mets were largely alleviated. His velocity remained consistent, he limited hard contact, and his pitch count approached a full workload. The ace himself described finding a “nice sweet spot” during the game, achieving a good balance between his pitches and command.

As he continued to improve, the Yankees’ lineup provided robust run support, contributing to the team’s decisive victory. This performance not only helped split the series with the Blue Jays but also provided reassurance about Gerrit Cole’s trajectory as he works his way back to his Cy Young-winning form.

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