Cole Lays an Egg in 1st. Yanks Can’t Recover. Seattle 7 NY 3

In a featured pitchers’ duel, Gerrit Cole faced just-traded-to-Seattle ace Luis Castillo on a hot summer Wednesday afternoon at Yankee Stadium. 1pm start.

By 1:20pm it looked like this for Cole in the top of the 1st:

  • Single
  • Walk
  • Homer
  • Homer
  • Single
  • Strikeout
  • Homer
  • Groundout
  • Strikeout

And just like that it was 6-0 Seattle. And just after that Cole ‘found it’ and proceeded to pitch shutout ball for the next 5 innings. But it was WAY too late.

“Just a tough inning where he was struggling to find his command and rhythm, and get all his pitches,” said manager Aaron Boone afterwards about Cole. “And unfortunately we’re behind the 8 ball there. And obviously he pitched really well from there.”

Meanwhile, Castillo was Dealing, and the Yanks had no chance. They closed to within 7-3 on a 2-run homer by Kyle Higashioka in the 7th – but were never close to bringing the tying run to even the on-deck circle.

Seattle takes 2 of the 3 game series. The Yankee lead over Toronto is at 11 games and 14 over Tampa, pending a game between the two in the evening.

1. Cole Didn’t Have It at First in 1st

Catfish Hunter had a few starts like this – it can happen to an ace who is always in or near the strike zone. Cole just didn’t have it at 1st and by the time he found it, the damage was done. Major damage.

Adam Frazier led off with a single, Jesse Winker walked, and Eugenio Suarez hit a homer to make it 3-0. Carlos Santana hit a homer to make it 4-0. J.P. Crawford singled and there was still nobody out.

Finally Cole struck out Kyle Lewis – the first sign he was finding it — before Jarred Kelenic homered to make it 6-0.

After that, Cole retired 10 of the next 11 batters he faced, and 17 of the next 19 – pitching 1-2-3 innings in the 2nd, 5th, and 6th.

Again; too late.

“Looking back we could have used the fastball a little more in that situation,” said Kyle Higashioka. When asked why they didn’t go to the fastball sooner, he answered “Just observing some of the previous games and some recent stuff with them, we thought was the plan to go to out of the gate, and we were wrong.”

Cole was asked what happened. “I have a pretty vivid recollection; sometimes it’s easier to remember the bad stuff than it is the good stuff,” said Cole. “But there were bad pitch selections; there were some bad pitches, and we got punished for it again.”

2. Castillo Was Dealing

Luis Castillo held up his end of the Pitchers’ Duel bargain. The Yanks skimped a run off him in the bottom of the 2nd when Andrew Benintendi led off with a walk, stole 2nd, and scored on an Isiah Kiner-Falefa 2-out single.

Jose Trevino then doubled but Kiner-Falefa was out at home and that was it for the Yankee rally.

In the 7th, Kiner-Falefa singled again with 2 out, and came home when Kyle Higashioka hit a homerun to left for a 7-3 game.

Castillo was at 109 pitches so was removed.

Aaron Judge did not play, despite the fact that the Yanks were facing an off day on Thursday the next day. He was available as a pinch hitter if the Yanks got 3 runners on in the 8th or 9th, but that never came close to happening.

The Seattle bullpen of Matthew Festa and Paul Sewald shut the Yanks out the last 2 innings for the old ballgame.


Higashioka and Kiner-Falefa had 2 hits each. The other Yankee to get a hit was Matt Carpenter.

The Boxscore

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