In the first inning of this game, the Yankees scored a run, following by Gerrit Cole striking out three straight batters after allowing a hit. Considering that opposing Cole for the Rangers was Jordan Lyles, who came into the game with an ERA over six, you wouldn’t be crazy for thinking the game would continue like that.
Instead, it was a complete reversal.
Cole had by far his worst outing of the season, allowing five runs on seven hits, while also having his walk-less streak ended at 61. He gave up all sorts of hard contact in the process as well. He was always due for some sort of regression, but unfortunately for the Yankees, it came at the wrong time, as the offense didn’t give him much room for error.
As Cole was doing his version of struggling, Lyles held the Yankees to just that first-inning run, going six innings, while allowing six hits and a walk. The offense then did only marginally better against the bullpen, dooming them to a 5-2 loss to the Rangers in the series opener.
The game got off to a pretty perfect start as DJ LeMahieu and Luke Voit singled in the first two at bats of the game, seemingly setting up the Yankees for a crooked number. Lyles managed to retire newly named AL Player of the Week Aaron Judge, but Gio Urshela got him for a single, giving the Yankees an early lead. It turns out, that would be the extent of the Yankees’ offense against Lyles.
In striking out three batters in the first inning, Cole broke the record for the most consecutive strikeouts without recording a walk. Weirdly, the double he allowed before that would be a preview of his outing.
Adolis García led off the second for Texas with a home run, evening the score. David Dahl and Isiah Kiner-Falefa followed that with back-to-back doubles, putting the Rangers in front. Then a couple batters later, Jose Trevino plated another run with a single. The three runs allowed in the second meant that Cole had already matched his high for runs allowed in a game.
Cole labored after that, and allowed a home run to Willie Calhoun in the fifth. He got through the inning and came back out for the sixth, but was pulled after allowing a leadoff single. A groundout, a wild pitch, and then a throwing error by Kyle Higashioka allowed that run to score, which technically went down as a steal of home.
In relief of Cole, Albert Abreu threw three hitless innings, striking out four while walking two. He did throw the wild pitch that helped the Rangers score their fifth run, but other than that, he was pretty solid. (Abreu’s reward was, naturally, a demotion to Triple-A, as the team already had 13 other pitchers and Rougned Odor is eligible to come off the IL tomorrow).
The offense didn’t do much of anything for the rest of the game, apart from Brett Gardner hitting the Yankees’ first triple of the season. In the eighth, they did get a run back when Luke Voit recorded his first home run of the season on a 414-foot shot into the second deck. Former Yankee Ian Kennedy recorded a save in the ninth, dooming the Yanks to a very annoying loss.
If anything, the fact that it’s mid-May and Gerrit Cole’s worst outing of the season is him allowing five runs in five inning shows just how good he’s been the rest of the year. The Yankees will try to bounce back tomorrow night at 8:05pm ET, when Jameson Taillon will face Mike Foltynewicz.