Yankees rally behind Gerrit Cole’s Cy Young quest as postseason aspirations take back seat

Yankees ace Gerrit Cole on the mound vs. the Tigers on Aug 30, 2023.

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In September, the Yankees won’t be fighting for a playoff spot, but they can contribute to Gerrit Cole‘s Cy Young award chances. This trend persisted on Wednesday night at Comerica Park. Despite not having his most dominant performance, Gerrit Cole pitched well for six innings and received substantial backing in a 6-2 triumph against the Tigers.

Continuing his streak, Gleyber Torres hit a home run for the third consecutive game to support Gerrit Cole’s brilliance. The Yankees smacked three home runs in total, securing their first series victory in 11 attempts. Their previous series victory was against the Royals, another AL Central team, on July 21-23.

Although this series win doesn’t have a significant impact at this stage, it did provide the Yankees (65-68) the opportunity to add another win to Gerrit Cole’s tally, further enhancing his chances of earning his inaugural Cy Young award.

Manager Aaron Boone expressed his belief that Gerrit Cole was heading toward a Hall of Fame trajectory. He mentioned before the game that incorporating an achievement such as a Cy Young award would provide a significant enhancement to the Yankees ace’s record. Boone considered it not only personally meaningful to Gerrit Cole but also to all of his teammates.

Gerrit Cole stays brilliant

Having experienced a few instances where his offense and/or bullpen let him down and resulted in lost opportunities for victories this year, Gerrit Cole’s record improved to 12-4. Impressively, he maintained his ERA at a steady 2.95. While he did concede two solo home runs to Jake Rogers and Spencer Torkelson, Gerrit Cole encountered minimal challenges overall and managed to strike out seven batters.

Yankees ace Gerrit Cole at Yankee Stadium in 2023.
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Notably, in 21 out of his 28 starts this season, the Yankees’ top pitcher has limited the opposition to two runs or fewer, which is the highest count in the major leagues.

Gerrit Cole stated that his responsibility revolves around creating a chance for the team to secure victory in each game while putting forth his utmost effort. He explained that on occasions, one might possess exceptional skills, and everything falls into place effortlessly. However, he acknowledged that challenges are inevitable, stemming from both the opposing team and one’s own mindset. Gerrit Cole emphasized the significance of surmounting these challenges and aiming to consistently reproduce successful outcomes.

The Yankees are aiming to complete a four-game sweep of the Tigers (59-74) in the upcoming Thursday afternoon matchup, and thereafter, they will journey to Houston. Notably, the highly anticipated additions of top prospects Jasson Dominguez and Austin Wells will accompany their visit to Houston.

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Yankees vets came together to back Cole

While Gerrit Cole has maintained remarkable consistency as the Yankees’ standout pitcher throughout the season, Torres has held a similar role as their most dependable batter. This trend extended into Wednesday’s game.

Amidst a game in which both DJ LeMahieu and Giancarlo Stanton also hit home runs, Torres had an impressive performance, going 2-for-4 with a home run, a double, and a walk. Particularly noteworthy is his strong performance in August, boasting a batting average of .340 alongside seven home runs, culminating in an impressive 1.045 OPS.

Gerrit Cole described the year as “sneaky really, really good” for Torres, acknowledging that this might not be as concealed as it seems. He commented that the player consistently ranks among the top offensive second basemen in the league, with consistently impressive statistics. Gerrit Cole expressed admiration for his progress over the past couple of years, noting their return to the expected level of performance.

On a personal note, Gerrit Cole revealed his desire to witness Torres’ continued advancement. He recognized his exceptional qualities, highlighting his remarkable hand-eye coordination and enjoyable presence. Cole portrayed him as a player with significant potential, indicating a bright future ahead in baseball.

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