In one of the most dominant pitching performances for the Yankees this season, ace Gerrit Cole completely shut out the Houston Astros over 9.0 innings. Cole tossed 129 pitches, allowing three hits and striking out 12 batters to take down a strong Astros team that has now lost three consecutive games, including two against the Yankees.
The Yankees clearly view the series as momentum-changing and having won five of their last six games with the final game against the Astros on Sunday afternoon. The bombers have an opportunity to claw their way back into the AL East standings with another victory.
Currently, they have a lot of work ahead of them, sitting 8.0 games behind the Boston Red Sox, who are 55-35. In the Wild Card standings, they are 3.5 games back from the Oakland Athletics to secure the second spot; the Tampa Bay Rays are +3 in the category, putting a cushion between themselves and the rest of the competing teams.
However, the Red Sox lost to the Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday and have fallen in three of their last four games, potentially opening the door for the Yankees to make a comeback.
The Yankees needed Cole’s energy to reinvigorate the team:
The passion that Cole showed in the win was something the team desperately needed, especially after dealing with an illness this past week, requiring IV drips to keep him active. In fact, with one out left in the ninth-inning, skipper Aaron Boone went out to check on Cole as the ace fired back curses and F-bombs, indicating his desire to stay in the contest.
“I said the F word a lot, and I kind of just blacked out,” Cole said. “I don’t really remember what I told him to be honest.”
“I wasn’t going out there for sure to take him out,” Boone said. “I just wanted to take his temperature a little bit, see where he’s at.”
Ultimately, the decision was a good one, after Cole allowed a ninth-inning hit to Jose Altuve to open an opportunity for Houston to steal the game in the final moments.