Cole & Higgy Lead Yanks to “Nice Win” — 3 Reasons Why NY 3 Toronto 1 on 4-12-21

When you have an ace like Gerrit Cole pitching, all you typically need is just a little offense to get a win. The Mets do not normally do this for their ace Jacob deGrom. But the Yankees find a way. In this game that offense came from an unlikely — but as Yankee fans have learned, not that unlikely — place: the home run bat of backup catcher Kyle Higashioka. And then you need the bullpen to do it’s job and the Yankees bullpen continues to scintillate. This article just wrote itself but here are the reasons why the Yanks won:

1. Cole Was His Usual Ace Self

Gerrit Cole started off a bit shaky, not locating his fastball — and Toronto squeaked in an early run in the bottom of the 1st. After one out, Bo Bichette and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. singled, Guerrero moved to second on a wild pitch by Cole, and then Randal Grichuk put the bat on the ball to ground out and plate a run.

Cole struck out Cavan Biggio for the final out and from that point forward was his usual dominant self — 6 innings, 3 hits, 8 strikeouts, 1 run and the win to go 2-0 on the year.

2. Higgy Homers

Before the game there was a thread on Twitter asking who would hit the first Yankee homer of the game. I guessed Gary Sanchez forgetting Cole was pitching and Kyle Higashioka catching. I should have just said “the catcher” because it was Higgy who hit that homer — a two-run shot in the 5th to put the Yanks ahead. Rougned Odor had singled — the Yanks getting immediate dividends from the Odor acquisition as he got the game-winning hit in the 10th the day before.

Higgy hit ANOTHER homer in the 8th for an insurance run, making it 3-1.

3. Bullpen Scintillates

The Yankee bullpen in this game was Justin Wilson for a shutout 7th, Darren O’Day for a shutout 8th, and Aroldis Chapman for a shutout 9th and save. Chapman did allow a leadoff double to Grichuk to put the tying run at the plate, but then got a fly out and 2 strikeouts.

If all the Yankee games could be such nice and relatively uneventful wins.


Aaron Judge went 0-2 with 2 walks. Clint Frazer went 0-2 with 1 walk. Gio Urshela and Gleyber Torres were 0-3 with 1 walk. Mike Tauchman played centerfield (Aaron Hicks sat out to protest a police incident in Minnesota) and went 1 for 3. That — besides the Higgy homers and Odor single, was the Yankee offense. DJ LeMahieu and Giancarlo Stanton both went 0-4 at the top of the lineup (Stanton batting 2nd, Judge 3rd).

The Boxscore



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