Today was originally supposed to be an off-day, and while I’m sure the Yankees would’ve preferred that, they will be happy to officially welcome Gerrit Cole back into the starting rotation. The Cy Young candidate has been out since July 29th due to COVID, and somewhat incredibly, he’s pitched at home just once since the Fourth of July.
Cole returns to what David Cone calls “toeing the slab in the boogie-down Bronx” tonight, and he’ll face the Angels. This game was originally supposed to be the final content of a four-game series stretching from the end of June to early July. Instead, that series ended with the absolute disaster of the Angels’ seven-run ninth against Aroldis Chapman and Lucas Luetge.
Let’s not dwell on that tire fire too much, though. The Yankees have played a lot better since then; in fact, they’ve only lost two series in that timespan. They have to feel good about sending Cole out there to face the Halos, even with Shohei Ohtani and his league-leading 39 homers looming in the lineup. With Mike Trout still out of commission and Anthony Rendon out for the season, the MVP favorite doesn’t have much support in the lineup beyond Jared Walsh.
This is an offense that a pitcher like Cole (3.11 ERA, 2.84 FIP, league-best 0.99 WHIP and 12.2 K/9) should carve up. The only wild card will be how his body is truly feeling after battling COVID. He said that he only had “mild symptoms” and that he feels fine now, but we’ll see.
On the other side of the ball, the Yankees’ offense will face 23-year-old José Suarez. The lefty is in his third season in The Show and was only moved into the starting rotation at the beginning of July. His overall numbers on the year look solid, but he hasn’t quite found a rhythm as a starter yet, posting a 5.79 ERA, 1.393 WHIP, and .716 OPS against across six starts. In his last outing, the Blue Jays got to him for four runs on seven hits in 5.1 innings of work.
Go Yankees, go baseball.
How to watch:
Location: Yankee Stadium — Bronx, NY
First pitch: 7:05 pm ET
TV broadcast: YES, Bally Sports West, MLB Network (out-of-market only)
Radio broadcast: WFAN 660/101.9 FM, WADO 1280
Online stream: MLB.tv