That is more similar to the Gerrit Cole the Yankees paid to contribute defining moments in a playoff race.
Coming off a clunker against the Indians that drew boos his last break, Cole conveyed the sort of trip the Yankees required Friday night as he generally calmed the Red Sox while heading to a 8-3 success in Boston.
“[I] mentally leaned on the process that I have, trying to get rid of the last start and get prepared to bring out the best I can this start,” said Cole, who recorded his first career win at Fenway Park in six starts. “I was successful in that regard and I made enough good pitches and we scored enough runs that we got a really great result.”
The $324 million ace surrendered three runs more than six in number innings while working with a lead the entire evening. The only flaw came in his last inning, when Rafael Devers squashed a three-run homer off Cole.
Yet, the Yankees had already beat up on Red Sox right-hander Nathan Eovaldi by that point — including taking a 3-0 lead before Cole even threw a pitch — which means Devers’ shot just cut the Yankees’ lead to 7-3.
Cole didn’t permit a hit until there were two outs in the fourth inning, when J.D. Martinez roped a standard procedure double to right field. Cole had given a stroll in every one of the initial three innings, yet didn’t permit the Red Sox to transform it into an assembly either time.
“He’s a great pitcher, he’s our ace, he’s our horse,” manager Aaron Boone said. “For him to go out and set the tone for us, especially after the offense put up a three-spot there in the first inning, I thought he did a great job of avoiding those momentum innings.
“It’s a very short list of people you’d rather hand the ball to.”
Last Sunday, when the Yankees required him to rescue a series win against the Indians, Cole missed the short. He surrendered a season-high 10 hits and seven runs more than 5 ¹/₃ innings in a 11-1 misfortune in The Bronx, in any event, hearing boos from the crowd as he walked off the mound.
Be that as it may, Cole bounced back to start off the high-stakes series with a success.
Cole will make something like another beginning in the regular season — possible Wednesday against the Blue Jays in what will be another tremendous beginning. From that point forward, he could either arrange to pitch the AL special case game on Oct. 5 — maybe against the Red Sox again — or return to pitch on brief reprieve on the last few days of the period if the Yankees need him to get into the playoffs.
“It matters because it’s an important win for this series,” Cole said. “It didn’t feel like the game was ours until the last out. I don’t think I’ll ever really feel that way, especially against this team.”