Gerrit Cole Masterpiece: Complete Game 2-Hitter. NY 2 Minnesota 0

Gerrit Cole pitched a complete game 2-hit shutout to carry the Yankees to a 2-0 win over the Minnesota Twins on a Sunday afternoon at Yankee Stadium.

You don’t read that too often — for any pitcher — in an era when starting pitchers are lifted after 7 innings no matter what.

Cole breezed through the Minnesota Twins lineup — which is regarded as a great  lineup — with ease, using an economy of pitches. He struck out 10 and walked only 1, throwing 109 pitches.

Cole won the anticipated pitcher’s duel between he and Pablo Lopez, Minnesota’s ace who entered with a 1-0 1.35 record.

DJ LeMahieu drove in both Yankee runs — a 2-out RBI single in the 3rd, and a homer leading off the 6th off the top of the Short Porch wall in right.

“Just his command of everything,” said Yank Manager Aaron Boone afterwards about Cole’s performance. “He’s in rhythm with the clock. Whatever happens out there — and a lot of things obviously went right today so there wasn’t a lot of adversity — but he’s handling situation after situation so well.”

“His fastball command and the fact that he’s pressuring it in a lot of different places in the strike zone has been huge for him,” continued Boone. “His secondary stuff I thought all played an important role — all of them. That’s a big time performance right there. He’s a special pitcher and he’s in a locked-in, focused place.”

The Yankees took the last 2 games of the 4-game set, after the game 1 disaster (of 9 Minnesota runs in the top of the 1st) and the game 2 disaster (of the blown Clay Holmes save). NY improves to 10-6; Minnesota falls to 10-6. Tampa beat Toronto to go 14-2; Toronto falls to 10-6.

1. Cole Masterpiece

Cole was absolutely dominant from the start — throwing smoke and filth with his easy delivery.

He struck out the side on 10 pitches in the 4th, cruised through the middle of the game, and then near the end got even more economical — retiring the side 1-2-3 on 9 pitches in the 7th and only 5 pitches in the 8th.

Cole came into that 8th at 93 pitches. He struck out Donovan Solano on 3 pitches, then got Max Kepler and Christian Vazquez to ground out on the first pitch to them.

“Just teamwork with Trevi,” said Gerrit Cole afterwards on the reason for the performance, crediting catcher Jose Trevino. “Good approach. Good command. You always give yourself a chance to have success when you are executing and commanding pitches.”

Cy Young

Cole improved to 4-0 0.95 on the season, an early leading candidate for Cy Young — an award Cole has never won. Cole has finished 2nd in Cy Young voting twice, 4th twice, and 5th once. Cole was:

  • 2nd in Cy Young voting in 2019 when he led the league in ERA (20-5 2.50) but lost to teammate Justin Verlander (21-6 2.58) who led the league in wins.
  • 2nd in Cy Young voting in 2021 when he was the dominant pitcher all summer but pitched through a bad hamstring the final month and Robbie Ray (13-7 2.84) snuck in to win it even though Cole led the league in wins (16-8 3.23) and led the Yanks to the division title.
  • 4th in Cy Young voting in COVID 2020 when he went 7-3 2.84.
  • 4th in Cy Young voting with Pittsburgh in 2015 when he went 19-8 2.60.
  • 5th in Cy Young voting for the 2018 Astros (15-5 2.88).
  • 9th in Cy Young voting last year (13-8 3.50).

2. Lopez Minnesota’s Ace

Cole was up against Minnesota’s ace, Pablo Lopez — and the anticipated pitcher’s duel played out to be a good one — as Lopez was stingy as well.

Lopez — a 27-year-old, 6’4 righty — has great stuff despite a mediocre win-loss record thus far in his career — last year he was 10-10 3.75 with Miami, but with a 1.16 WHIP. Minnesota acquired him from Miami over the winter for stud 2nd baseman Luis Arraez — who currently leads the National League in batting (.471) and On Base Percentage (.526 OBP).

But Minnesota got what they were after — their ace. With the hard-luck loss, Lopez drops to 1-1 1.73.

“What they did in the off season is bring in Pablo Lopez to head the rotation.” said Minnesota Twins announcer Dick Bremer before the game when interviewed by Suzyn Waldman on the radio. Bremer also said the Twins were late to the game, but have now got with the program and loaded up their bullpen with Flamethrowers.

3. DJ Clutch 2-Out RBI Single in 3rd

The Yanks got a run off Lopez in the 3rd when Aaron Judge walked with 1 out, Anthony Rizzo was barely grazed on a pitch — he is so good at being hit by pitches — and after a Gleyber Torres strikeout, DJ LeMahieu came up with a big 2-out RBI single for a 1-0 Yankee lead.

4. DJ Short Porch Homer Off Top of Wall

LeMahieu added an insurance run in the bottom of the 6th when he led off with a homer that bounced off the top of the right field wall at 340 feet. A Short Porch homer of the highest order.


Before the game, Yankees PR announced that Giancarlo Stanton had been placed on the IL with a grade 2 hamstring pull. Reports are saying he may be out 4 to 6 weeks.

He pulled the hamstring the game before, when he hit a Missile Double off the wall in the 7th — where everyone in the ballpark and watching on TV thought it was a homer. Stanton was homerun trotting past 1st base then sprinted to 2nd when he realized the ball was in play — and pulled the hamstring.

The Boxscore

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