Last night marked the first time that New York Yankees’ ace Gerrit Cole faced Josh Donaldson since the Minnesota Twins’ third baseman wondered whether or not the Bombers’ starter was using substances to aid his grip and increase the spin rate of his pitches.
It did not go well for Donaldson, who produced outs in the three at-bats he had against Cole in yesterday’s game, which the Yankees took 9-6 in Target Field.
Cole said the change was because of a mechanical flaw, and accused Donaldson of making ‘low-hanging fruit’ comments.
Cole was asked on Tuesday, according to MLB.com, if he had ever used Spider Tack, a specific product.
“I hesitated on the specificity of the question because I just don’t think it’s the forum to discuss those kinds of things,” Cole said after Wednesday’s game. “There’s an appropriate time for players to discuss those things, and we’ll keep it to that forum.”
Yankees’ teammates are going to bat for Cole
Aaron Judge, the Yankees’ best player, defended Cole and said he doesn’t like the spotlight being on Cole and only on him specifically.
“I really don’t like it. I feel like 95% of the guys I’ve faced in the league have something going on,” Judge said. “It’s kind of one of those rules that I feel like hasn’t really been enforced or defined. We’ve all got a job to do; Cole’s got a job to do. Me as a hitter, I’ve got to step in the box no matter what’s going on or what people are using.”
Cole put all comments aside and threw another masterpiece, striking out nine Twins in six innings of only two runs to lead the Yankees’ victory.
His fastball spin rate was down in his last start vs. Tampa, to an average of 2,436 rpm. It was 2,493 yesterday against the Twins, closer to his 2,534 average of 2019-20.