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Gerrit Cole tosses two-hit shutout in 6-0 rout of Orioles

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This is the Gerrit Cole we’ve been dying to see

Baltimore Orioles v New York Yankees - Game One Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images

It’s been a while since I could say this, but man wasn’t that fun to watch? That was about as close to perfection from a total team performance standpoint as you could ask for. Gerrit Cole celebrated his first start after reaching the big Three-Oh with a lights-out performance, while the Yankees’ bats burst into life. Today is always a somber day of remembrance, and it was heartening to see the Yankees honoring New York City’s first responders with NYPD and FDNY caps.

With game two in progress, we’ll recap this one bullet point style.

  • DJ LeMahieu got the offense rolling early with a leadoff home run in the first. He pulled his hands in on 1-2 splitter that Cobb yanked over the inside half, launching the ball 94.6 mph, 373 feet into the left field seats. It was his fourth leadoff homer of the season, tying Ian Happ for the league lead.
  • Brett Gardner decided that a solo shot wasn’t impressive enough. After Luke Voit got aboard with an opposite-field single through the hole on the right, Gardy spun on a 1-0 fastball middle-middle. He yanked the two-run shot 105 mph, 386 feet into the seats in right.
  • Kyle Higashioka decided to get in on the action in the bottom of the second with a two-run blast of his own. Higgy roped a first-pitch inside fastball after Mike Tauchman led off with an opposite field bloop single. Higgy’s 95.8 mph, 382 foot wall-scraper to left made it 5-0 Yankees.
  • The Yankees added their final run in the sixth. Gleyber Torres led off with a check swing looper to left that he turned into a hustle double. Gary Sánchez walked, and both runners advanced on a Thomas Eshelman pass ball. Tauchman drove Torres in with a jam-shot bloop single to center.
  • Gerrit Cole was absolutely scintillating as he turned in a vintage performance in the first game of the day’s doubleheader. His season-high 114 pitch gem included nine strikeouts and double-digit whiffs on both the four-seamer and slider. There was really good life on Cole’s fastball, as it exploded at the top of the zone inducing whiffs on what were fouls or popups earlier in the season. I’ll take more of this please!
  • Finally, there was lots of hard contact early against Alex Cobb, and a loud start was just what the Yankees needed to jumpstart their day. It was particularly encouraging to see some of the coldest bats for the Yankees of late finally waking up. Both Gardner and Tauchman turned in multi-hit performances and accounted for a significant chunk of the Yankees offense.

Join us in the game thread for game two, as Masahiro Tanaka looks to follow up Gerrit Cole’s dominant outing.