In the Yankees’ 4-1 Defeat to the Mets, Gerrit Cole Blasted Four Home Runs

Last week’s opening start for Gerrit Cole in the 2024 season went about as smoothly as he and the Yankees could have hoped. It didn’t in his second appearance against the Mets on Tuesday night.

The Yankees lost 9–7 at Citi Field after Cole was hammered for six runs on seven hits in four innings. Along with walking four and giving up four home runs, he did not record a strikeout. It was the second time in Cole’s career that he had at least four home runs allowed and the second time he had not recorded a strikeout.

Cole stated, “Just disappointing.” “Didn’t really give us a good chance to win tonight. Didn’t execute enough pitches. Just kind of dug us a hole.”

A couple of bright spots provided some relief: Cole threw 72 pitches, which was more than he threw in any of his three minor league rehab appearances or his season opener. Additionally, the right-hander declared himself healthy even if his fastball velocity dropped after the first inning.

In that opening frame, Cole reached 97 to 99 mph for the first time in 2024—an optimistic outburst three months after being sidelined due to nerve inflammation and edema in his right elbow. However, Mark Vientos ripped his first fastball of the second inning, a 91.5 mph offering, for a home run. Cole finished his outing without throwing a pitch faster than 95.5 mph.

Cole stated that he was healthy and that the drop-off was intentional after the game. He clarified that after the Mets jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning and he issued three walks and threw 28 pitches, he purposefully reduced his velocity because he thought this would offer him the best opportunity to perform well and avoid having to leave the game early due to the 75-pitch limit.

“It’s a bit like driving a car,” said Cole, 33. “Too much clutch or too little clutch can slip you out of gear a little bit. So, obviously, it came out really tremendous in the first and had to make a lot of pitches. But the reality is we just weren’t in the strike zone enough. The objective is to try to get as deep in the ballgame as you can.”

Cole couldn’t put hitters away despite only giving up one walk in his final three innings of work. The Mets fouled off 11 pitches against him, but he only got five whiffs. At least 101.5 mph was reached by six balls that were hit into play. Two of those hard-hit balls were barreled for home runs by Vientos, both on fastballs, after Cole claimed he had decided to reduce pitch velocity.

Aaron Judge, the center fielder for the Yankees, stated, “He’s still working back.” “That’s our ace. That’s our guy. And I want him out there every single five days. Games like this happen, and you just got to move on and learn from it. He’ll be fine.”

Barring a change in the Yankees’ rotation, Cole is scheduled to start against the Blue Jays on Sunday in Toronto.

“My execution was poor, so I never really gave myself a chance to learn anything,” Cole stated. “To get a foul ball or to get a mishit, it ended up in damage. This league is really hard. I certainly had the stuff tonight to give us a chance, and I just pitched poorly.”