The matchup in this game was Gerrit Cole, who came in at 5-1, 1.37, vs Jordan Lyles (1-3, 6.63). And the Yankees jumped on Lyles from the opening bell — two leadoff singles en route to scoring a run in the top of the 1st.
And after that — it was all Texas. Gerrit Cole was the one who got clubbed and took the loss; Lyles pitched terrifically for 6 innings not allowing another run in this Monday night game in Texas.
Don’t bet on baseball.
1. Yanks’ 1st Inning Rally
DJ LeMahieu and Luke Voit led off the game with singles, and after Aaron Judge struck out, Gio Urshela singled in a run to make it 1-0 and it looked like the Yanks were going to have a field day against Lyles (no relation to Sparky Lyle — in fact the name is spelled differently).
Gio from the jump. pic.twitter.com/V1XuuA3odx
— New York Yankees (@Yankees) May 18, 2021
But Gary Sanchez hit a shot to 3rd that was turned into a double play and the big inning never materialized. Still it was the 4th straight game where the Yankees scored a run in the top of the 1st — 1 Friday night for Corey Kluber in a win, 3 on Saturday for Domingo German in a win, 4 on Sunday for Jordan Montgomery in a loss, and 1 in this game.
2. Cole Not Crisp; Lyles Brilliant
Cole started off well — a scoreless bottom of the 1st including his record-setting 59th straight strikeout without a walk.
HISTORY!!! 59 straight strikeouts without a walk! #YANKSonYES
— YES Network (@YESNetwork) May 18, 2021
But the Rangers got to Cole in the bottom of the 2nd — a homerun by centerfielder Adolis Garcia, and then a double (by DH David Dahl), double (by shortstop Isiah Kiner-Falefa), and single by catcher Jose Trevino scored 2 runs and made it 3-1 Texas.
Leftfielder Willie Calhoun homered in the 4th to make it 4-1 Texas. Cole was pulled in the 6th after allowing a leadoff single — that runner came around to score on reliever Albert Abreu. It wouldn’t have been a big deal if the Yanks had 6 runs on the board but they didn’t.
Manager Boone’s View of Cole
“I think he was just in the zone probably a little too much with 2 strike situations,” said manager Aaron Boone about Cole. “Credit to them they were really aggressive and got off some good swings and when they got a mistake they were able to take advantage of it.”
Boone added, “I thought he battled really well, especially after giving up 3 in that inning, he kind of settled in and pitched his way and even found some good lanes around the 4th inning. It wasn’t just the Gerrit-Cole-in-his-lanes throughout-the-night Cole. He made a handful of mistakes and they put some good swings on them.”
Cole explained: “It was one of those nights; I just wasn’t as crisp. If there’s one thing that stood out was the ability to consistently execute a string of pitches in a row, and ability to get the ball a little bit more to the corners especially with the breaking ball. There were a few sequences where we threw an excellent pitch and followed with a bad pitch.”
Cole added, “The first homer jumps right out — I threw an excellent fastball at the top and tried to go up there again and leave it over the middle of the plate. And the one that chased me out was the good slider followed by a bad slider. It was some good pitches fought off and hit well, and then some predictable pitches and some bad ones.”
Lyles a Journeyman
Meanwhile Jordan Lyles, the 30-yr-old veteran 6’5 righty, pitched 6 innings, allowing 6 hits and the 1 run, striking out 6.
A Bleacher Report article of the Top 50 Pitching Prospects in All of Baseball in 2011 ranked Lyles — then of the Houston Astros — #24, and Gerrit Cole #50. Since then Lyles has ‘been around’ — Texas is his 6th team after starting his career in 2011. He’s had some success (12-8 4.15 in 2019 was his best year) and some failure (1-6 7.02 last year).
3. Voit to Detroit
The Yanks finally got another run in the 8th to make it 5-2, on a Luke Voit blast.
A moonshot from Luke Voit! The Yankees slugger connects for his first homer of the year. #YANKSonYES
— YES Network (@YESNetwork) May 18, 2021
4. Abreu Pitched Great
Albert Abreu survived wildness in his first inning (his wild pitch allowed the 5th run to score, charged to Cole) — to throw down 3 shutout, no-hit innings, striking out 4.
5. Kennedy with the Save
Ian Kennedy came in to pitch a shutout 9th and get his league-leading 11th save.
Brett Gardner hit a triple and got 2 hits. The Yanks only got 7 hits — 2 by LeMahieu, 2 by Voit, 2 by Gardner and the RBI single by Urshela.