Yankees’ ace Gerrit Cole is ready to go for tonight’s win-or-go-home affair

yankees, gerrit cole
May 12, 2021; St. Petersburg, Florida, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Gerrit Cole (45) looks on as he walks back to the dugout at the end of the sixth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees refrained from using their ace Gerrit Cole on short rest over the weekend, and ended up winning 1-0 against the Tampa Bay Rays to avoid playing a tiebreaker game with the Toronto Blue Jays.

Thankfully for the Yankees, Cole will be well-rested and ready to take the ball tonight against the Boston Red Sox in the American League Wild Card game, to be played at Fenway Park.

“It’s like, ‘Can we get it going already?’” Cole said, to MLB.com. “It’s like a bit of a waiting game, which is good for the body and good for the mind, to a certain extent, to recover. But you’re champing at the bit to get back out there. I’m excited for the challenge that’s ahead of us.”

The Yankees’ ace is looking to right the ship

Cole’s last start of the season didn’t go particularly well, as he allowed five earned runs in six innings against the Jays last Wednesday, jeopardizing his chances of winning the AL Cy Young. He still can win the award, though, as his main competition, Robbie Ray, had a similar stat line on Thursday.

Cole’s fastball was a problem that day, as he allowed five extra-base hits with the pitch, whiffing only three bats. He said he didn’t locate it very well.

“I don’t think he’s far off at all,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “I think the stuff is there. In Toronto the other day, they banged him for a couple of home runs on a couple of just-missed heaters. So I think everything is there for him to put it together [Tuesday]. It’s just about executing in the right quadrants against a good team.”

Cole finished the year with a 4.91 ERA against the Red Sox this season, but will be looking for vengeance. He remains the Yankees’ best pitcher and will try to give his team the best chance to win.