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Yankees 10, Tigers 0: Cole’s masterclass, Judge’s two homers win the day

An incredible performance from start to finish. Easily the most exciting Yankees game so far.

MLB: Detroit Tigers at New York Yankees Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The Yankees gave us quite the show tonight. Gerrit Cole utterly dominated the Tigers’ lineup, the Bombers unleashed a home run bonanza back in the Bronx, and another shutdown performance from the bullpen sealed a 10-0 victory. There’s a lot to cover, so let’s jump right in.

The first inning was arguably Cole’s shakiest, as he some missed spots early and took the first two batters to settle in. But boy did he settle in as he capped off the inning with a filthy strikeout of Miguel Cabrera.

Giancarlo Stanton got the action started off Tigers starter Tarik Skubal in the home half of the first by blistering a one-out double off the auxiliary scoreboard in right, extending his hitting streak to eight games. This one *only* clocked in at 115.7 mph, on the softer side compared to some of his hits during the rest of the streak. Madness.

Stanton advanced to third on a wild pitch to Gio Urshela, who plated him with a line-drive single to put the Yankees on the board — just the start you want with your ace on the mound. Gleyber Torres gave one a ride to deep center shortly afterward, but Akil Baddoo caught it at the wall. Gleyber’s wait for his first home run of 2021 continues.

Cole struck out two in the top of the second, collecting a sword on Jonathan Schoop with a disgusting slider and blowing Willi Castro away with an elevated 98-mph fastball. He had all four of his pitches working, so the Tigers’ hitters could only gulp and pray for success.

In the bottom of the frame, Clint Frazier — sporting his newly-fixed swing — ripped a line-drive home run to left. The laser left his bat at 106.7 mph and traveled 364 feet in a flash. He must have read Cooper’s diagnosis of his problems, and so should you. That was Frazier’s third extra-base hit in the last three games, adding to the homer and double against the Orioles on Wednesday.

Courtesy of Statcast

This was a pitch that Frazier simply watched go by in the midst of his doldrums, and he just looks infinitely more confident at the plate since instituting the mechanical adjustments. Kyle Higashioka and Rougned Odor worked back-to-back walks, but a LeMahieu flyout and Stanton popout meant the Yankees ended the inning with only a 2-0 lead.

Cole picked up where he left off in the third, and struck out the side on 11 pitches. It’s ... hard to find the words to describe what we’re witnessing here, folks. He got Goodrum swinging on the knucklecurve in the dirt, Baddoo caught looking at an elevated knucklecurve, and Grossman whiffing on a a back-foot slider. Pretty gross, man.

In the bottom of the third, Aaron Judge reminded everyone why he doesn’t need to play 162 games to be one of the best players in baseball. He silenced the doubters by sending a 1-1, middle-middle fastball 436 feet off the batters’ eye in dead center.

Even the slumping Aaron Hicks got in on the fun, pulling a moonshot 420-foot home run to left. Please sign my petition for him to exclusively bat right-handed. No really, the righty-lefty splits are ridiculous.

Cole entered the fourth with a 4-0 lead and a streak of four strikeouts in a row. He extended that to six in a row by making mincemeat of Harold Castro and Cabrera before surrendering a pair of line drive two-out singles to Schoop and Jeimer Candelario. Wilson Ramos worked the count to 3-1, but Cole dropped a pair of perfect changeups on the outside corner to K-strut his way back to the dugout with the shutout intact.

Kyle Higashioka led off the bottom with a walk. Odor appeared to have popped out to Candelario, but the shifted third baseman did his best Luis Castillo impression and dropped it. Higashioka understandably hadn’t left first and was forced out at second on the comical play. LeMahieu lined a prototypical single to right, and Stanton lined a 114.5-mph screamer over Castro’s outstretched glove to load the bases for Judge.

It felt like something special was coming, and boy did Judge oblige. After working the count full and the fouling off two heaters, Judge lifted a towering grand slam into the second deck in right to blow this one wide open and knock Buck Farmer out of the game. His second of the night passed Stanton for the team lead with seven. A truly Judgian blast.

The Yankees weren’t done scoring in the fourth. Torres worked a two-out walk and Hicks lifted what looked like a routing popup out to left. However, the wind kept pushing the ball beyond the diving attempt of Harold Castro, allowing Torres to score from first and Hicks to collect himself an RBI double. This could be just the kind of night Hicks needed, as he entered the game with an 0-for-18 skid.

Frazier walked on four straight, and both runners advanced on a wild pitch. However, Garcia fanned Higashioka to stop the bleeding, though not before the Yankees had run up a 9-0 lead. Odor then brought the lead up to double digits with a no-doubter leadoff home run in the fifth, a frozen rope pulled into the right-field second deck.

The 402-foot bullet was Odor’s fifth of the year, and gave the Yankees a 10-0 advantage:

Meanwhile, Cole’s electric stuff didn’t dampen one bit with the significantly larger cushion. He worked an efficient 11-pitch inning in the fifth, collecting another pair of strikeouts to bring his tally to 11, and at the end of the sixth, Cole collected his final strikeout of the night on a wicked changeup to Victor Reyes. With a 10-0 lead, Boone felt comfortable pulling his ace after six innings and 87 pitches (although Cole looked less-than-pleased in the dugout).

Cole collected 21 whiffs on the game, including at least three with each pitch, and recorded at least two strikeouts with each weapon in his arsenal. Here are all 12 Ks:

Courtesy of Statcast

This was yet another dominating performance by the Cole Train — six innings with four hits, no walks, and 12 strikeouts. This was his fourth appearance this year with at least ten strikeouts and no walks, tying Mike Mussina for the franchise record. It gives him an absurd 62 strikeouts vs. only three walks on the season.

Luis Cessa entered the top of the seventh in relief, and after a leadoff walk issued to Schoop, he retired the next three batters including two via strikeout. As much as he struggled in previous years, he has truly been a revelation out of the ‘pen so far.

Brett Gardner joined the party in the bottom of the seventh with a single to left, and Stanton collected his third hit of the night with a 107-mph rocket up the middle. This is his third three-hit game in as many nights — it appears that he is right at home batting in the two-hole.

Wandy Peralta made his Yankees debut in the eighth and promptly struck out Goodrum on three pitches. He retired the next two batters on another three pitches, and is it possible Cashman unearthed another gem via trade? Lucas Luetge finished off the 10-0 shutout by striking out the side.

This was as comprehensive a victory as you’re bound to see. The Yankees’ offense clubbed five home runs while the pitching staff collected 18 strikeouts. Let’s hope they can carry this into the game tomorrow and use it as a spark for the rest of the season

Jameson Taillon is scheduled to face Spencer Turnbull in the matinee. First pitch is 1:05pm ET, so join us in the game thread for that Saturday afternoon showdown.

Box Score