One day before he was scheduled to be on the mound in the best-of-seven ALCS, Gerrit Cole met with reporters at Yankee Stadium, where the three-time All-Star admitted that he still can’t believe his October is now complete.
“I wish we had more time,” Cole said. “But at the same time I feel as though I’ve found a rhythm with everything that I’ve thrown since August, and I feel really comfortable with where my stuff is.”
Cole started the season with the Houston Astros, who lost in the first round of the playoffs. He went 3-6 with a 4.08 ERA during the regular season, but came back strong in the postseason, pitching seven scoreless innings in a Game 2 loss to the Red Sox.
After more than two years of an NL scuffle, the Mets and Yankees are now intertwined. The two teams have split four games against one another this year, but with the Red Sox looking dominant in their two wins and the team that wins Wednesday night advancing to the World Series, any of the teams in the series have the chance to rest starters to give them a better chance at winning the pennant.
The New York pitching staff saved New York for all but Game 1, when Luis Severino came in after an abbreviated start by Cole to shut out the Jays.
If the Yankees want to close out the series, they will need to take it deep into Tuesday night. Through seven innings, Cole was effectively trying to decipher his curveball. The skillful 22-year-old slider wasn’t quite enough, as he faced trouble in the first inning with one running fastball that took a bite out of Aaron Judge’s bat. It was the beginning of a year of jittery starting for the right-hander.
“That’s just stuff I need to learn to bounce back from,” he said. “My start Monday wasn’t my best, and hopefully next start I’ll be able to do better.”