Gerrit Cole clearly saw how fun Jameson Taillon’s perfect game bid was on Thursday and decided to get in on the action.
Nearly matching his Yankee teammate, Cole went through 6.2 innings perfectly before it was eventually broken up by a Jonathan Schoop single. Although he couldn’t finish the deal, it was another excellent performance from a Yankee pitcher. Cole ended up going seven innings, striking out nine. While every perfect game bid is impressive, he looked untouchable at times, striking out four batters in a row on two different occasions.
Unlike with Taillon, Cole got more than enough help from the Yankees’ offense for his perfecto bid. The starting nine had a big day on its own, as eight of the nine Yankees in the lineup recorded at least one hit, led by Aaron Judge, who recorded four. Pretty much everyone who played chipped in, and all of that resulted in a dominant 13-0 victory over the Tigers, the fourth win in a row.
After Cole cruised through the first couple innings, the Yankees’ offense opened the game’s scoring with a pair of homers in the third inning. Jose Trevino and Aaron Judge both went deep, giving the Yankees the early lead. Judge’s took him to 20 for the season in just his 50th game of the year. He remains the MLB home run leader by several shots.
An inning later, New York added more. After two quick outs to start the fourth, Matt Carpenter kept the inning alive with a bunt single down the third base line to beat the shift. Isiah Kiner-Falefa then added a double, putting two runners in scoring position. Trevino came back up and then recorded one of the strangest hits you’ll see. Tigers center fielder Willi Castro completely misplayed a Trevino fly ball, as it went sailing over his head, allowing two runs to score with Trevino making it all the way to third on a triple — the first of his career.
In the next at-bat, Aaron Hicks brought him home (and then got thrown out trying to stretch a single into a double).
Even after all that, the Yankees’ biggest offensive inning came in the fifth. Anthony Rizzo got in on the action, hitting a 430 foot, three-run shot. Matt Carpenter added a two-run blast a couple batters later and suddenly the Yankees were up by double digits. After the Yankees loaded the bags again, the Tigers couldn’t corral a DJ LeMahieu grounder, leading to another two runs. The dust settled with the Yankees having put up a seven spot.
After Cole’s perfect game bid fell in the seventh on the Schoop single, the end of his outing was quick to follow. While we didn’t get to see that come to fruition, we did get to see a very cool story take his place. Manny Bañuelos was brought in to start the eighth, making his Yankee debut. A decade after he was a top prospect and several years after injuries and struggles derailed his career, he was finally on a mound in Yankee Stadium wearing pinstripes.
After a scoreless eighth inning, the Yankees tacked on one more run for the road. Bañuelos then finished things off in the ninth, sealing the 13-0 win in his return to the major leagues.
Between the Cole perfect game watch, a wonderful story making his Bronx debut, and an explosion of runs from the offense, it was a pretty flawless game from a Yankees’ perspective. They’ll aim to replicate it tomorrow afternoon, when Luis Severino takes on Beau Brieske with first pitch at 1:05pm ET.