There is always a buzz in the ballpark when Yankee’s ace Gerrit Cole takes the mound, but on Wednesday there was something more. Amidst rumors and speculations about MLB pitchers using foreign substances, Twins third baseman Josh Donaldson made some accusatory comments about Cole. Wednesday night would be the first time the two men would face each other since their comments. The meeting was one-sided as the Yankees trounced the Twins 9-6.
Cole’s Actions Speak Volumes
Gerrit Cole was on the hill for the New York Yankees on Wednesday night. There was plenty of buzz for this start as Cole had his worst outing of the season in his last start and recent comments by Josh Donaldson and reporters had Cole seeming flustered. Cole answered critiques of him on Wednesday. He was back to top form when he faced the Minnesota lineup. Cole tossed six innings giving up just two runs and striking out nine.
The baseball world was buzzing in anticipation for the matchup between Cole and Donaldson. Fans would not have to wait long as Cole faced Donaldson in the very first inning. That at-bat would result in Cole handily striking out Donaldson on five pitches. By the end of the night, Donaldson was 0-3 against Cole with two strikeouts. Coming into Wednesday’s game, Donaldson was hitless against Cole in his career. This trend continued.
There is a Pulse
At times during this season, the vaunted Yankees offense has seemed anemic at times. If you looked at their offensive numbers during stretches during this year, it has been shocking. There were some signs of hope on Tuesday when the Yankees put up eight runs against the Twins. They continued that momentum on Wednesday night when they scored nine runs and launched 4 home runs in a vintage offense explosion.
Aaron Judge got the party started when he put the Yankees on the board early with a solo home run in the first inning. Brett Gardner followed suit with a big RBI double in the second. It was another good sign for the Yankees when Giancarlo Stanton had his second multi-home run game of the year. He launched a three-run homer in the third inning and then followed up with a two-run shot in the fifth. A few batters later and it was Miguel Andujar getting in on the fun when he sent a solo bomb into the seats.
This showcase of power is something that baseball fans have been waiting to see from the New York Yankees. While they have not lived up to the hype at this point in the season, the season is still young. The Yankees very well could build off this series and keep the momentum going.
Late Signs of Life by the Twins
The game seemed all but decided early in the night. That all changed in the ninth inning. The Twins entered the ninth inning down 9-2 with the game seemingly well over. Due to the comfortable lead, the Yankees opted not to use one of their high leverage relievers. Instead, they sent rookie pitcher Brooks Kriske to the mound to get the final three outs. The inning started off innocently enough when Kriske was able to quickly get Ryan Jeffers to pop out to the first baseman. That is where the ease of the inning would end.
Kriske gave up a triple to Alex Kirilloff and then one batter later an RBI single to Miguel Sano. The Yankees rookie was able to get the next batter to ground out for the second out of the inning. After another run scored on a wild pitch. Jorge Polanco blasted a two-run home run off of the foul pole to cut the deficit to just three runs. This prompted the Yankees to warm up closer Aroldis Chapman. Luckily, the Yankees would avoid using Chapman as Kriske was able to get Josh Donaldson to fly out for the final out.
Thursday’s Series Finale
The Yankees and Twins will play the finale of this three-game set on Thursday night from Target field. The Yankees will send right-handed pitcher Michael King to the mound for his third start of the year. The Twins lefty J.A. Happ will get the nod to face his former team for the first time representing Minnesota. The Yankees will be looking to sweep the Twins heading into an off day on Friday. The Twins will be looking to salvage the series with a win to try and build some confidence