This stretch was going to be a test. With two rains this weekend, the Yankees pitcher was being challenged as he tried to cover 23 games in 22 days. Nobody thought that this would be the crime they would have to worry about.
The Yankees scored only four runs in 18 innings as they split a Mother’s Day doubleheader with the Rangers. Gleber Torres scored his fourth home run of the season to lead 2–1 in the first game. Giancarlo Stanton only scored in second with a homer as Rangers won 4-2 in the nightcap.
“I thought we hit some balls, squared some balls. Giancarlo hit the ball that lands in the bullpen,” said Yankees manager Aaron Boone. “We didn’t get much needed; we got there late. Got a chance from. We have loaded the bases but couldn’t punch with that hit tonight.”
The Yankees (19-8) have won 12 of their last 14 games, but the schedule only gets tougher. On the mound he has a rubber match of the series on Monday afternoon with Nestor Cortes, his best starter this season.
Michael King, who was almost perfect so far this season, dropped a two-run home run at the top of the seventh inning of the 4-2 loss.
The Yankees scored just two hits from Rangers starter Dan Dunning in the first game and went 0-for-5 with the runners in the scoring position. The Bombers got two more from Glenn Otto, the right-hander sent to Texas for Joey Gallo last season. He went 1-for-6 with RISP in the second game. This included loading the bases in the seventh inning and flying Aaron Judge into left field to trap three runners.
“Maybe it was those three days off,” Torres said of the lack of scoring. “I mean, I think most people take flight, timing on swing and things like that. But those (Rangers) pitchers throw really good. And we didn’t adjust and we didn’t get any chances to score runs .
The pitching, which has propelled this team through most of the season, went strong for the most part on Sunday.
King took a career-high scoreless streak in Sunday’s game, dropping his first run since April 11. He was in seventh and no dismissal on the right after lefty Jordan Montgomery gave Jonah Heim a double lead. King walked Cole Calhoun, who had spoiled Gerrit Cole’s scoreless streak earlier in the day and dismissed Nathaniel Lowe. He received a ground ball forceout from Andy Ibanez before leaving a tying run on a wooded pitch. Brad Miller then crushed his third home run of the season at dead center field.
It spoiled Montgomery’s really good start. In charge of the runs King allowed on a wild pitch, Montgomery allowed two earned runs for four hits in six innings. He scored five runs and not a single batsman could run.
This came on the heels of a very strong start for Gerrit Cole and a really good sign for the Yankees showing continuity after a poor start to the season. Cole scored 10, his first double-digit strike game of the year, and restricted Rangers to just one run. He went for one and gave five hits.
On Sunday, pitching on two extra days of rest, regular-oriented Cole fought himself and opened to victory, needing 47 pitches in the first two innings.
“The wind was affecting the cutter a little today. I couldn’t really get it to go through the air to the left, and then on the other side it was like helping a fastball. It’s kind of blowing it up,” Cole said. “So I thought we used the elements well, I think we got a little cheesy in the second innings. But we made our adjustments and locked it back up and went ahead and made a lot of good selections.”
He retired 10 straight and faced 14 of the last 15. Cole made 26 swings and misses on Sunday, including 14 on his four-seam fastball. He had 17 call strikes, seven on fastballs.
The weather pushed the Yankees into an incredible position of playing 23 games in 22 straight days, with the Bombers requiring skilled pitching. So it makes sense that Cole, throwing a season-high 114 pitches, tried to give him seven innings.
After a poor start to the 2022 season, Cole appears to have settled in.
In his last three starts, Cole has allowed one earned run in 19 innings. He scored four runs, gave 14 hits and scored 25 runs. It is a marked change from his first three starts, when he had ERA of 6.35 after allowing eight earned runs in nine hits, scored eight runs and scored 12 runs in just 11.1 innings.