The Yankees won their third straight game on Saturday, taking down the Cleveland Indians, 2-1.
Here are some takeaways…
1. Gerrit Cole versus Shane Bieber was as advertised. Both starters exchanged quality starts, and combined for 14 innings, three runs, three walks (all by Bieber), and 20 strikeouts. At one point, 15 total batters were retired consecutively by both pitchers. Under bettors are happy.
But Cole outdueled Bieber in this one. While Bieber’s night was impressive (seven innings, two runs, four hits, three walks, nine strikeouts, career-high 119 pitches), Cole was even more dominant, as he struck out 11 and walked none in his seven frames of one-run ball, and retired his final 11 batters. His 11 strikeouts were his third double-digit strikeout game this year, and he tied Max Scherzer for the most 10+ strikeout games since 2018 with 35.
In his last four starts, Cole has allowed just three earned runs in 26.1 innings (1.03 ERA), while striking out 42 batters and walking just one. Cole also joined Curt Schilling as the second pitcher in MLB history to have 50+ strikeouts and three or less walks in one’s first five games of a season.
2. Despite his shaky start where he had runners on first and second with one out (he struck out Gleyber Torres and Gio Urshela to end the threat), Bieber retired 11-straight until Aaron Hicks led off the fifth inning with a game-tying solo home run to center. Three batters later, Rougned Odor belted a solo homer, his third straight game with a dinger. That was Bieber’s only damage, as he threw a career-high 119 pitches in seven innings of two-run ball, allowing four hits and three walks while striking out nine.
3. Justin Wilson relieved Cole in the eighth inning, and struggled a tad. At one point, he threw seven-straight balls, including a wild pitch. After recording a second out, Jonathan Loaisiga came in to hold the lead, which he did successfully. He stayed in for the ninth, and he retired the heart of the Indians’ lineup in order to record the four-out save, the first save of his career.
4. After Jose Ramirez hit a triple that was almost a homer robbed by Aaron Judge, Eddie Rosario slapped in an opposite field single to give the Indians a 1-0 lead in the fourth. That was Cole’s only blemish of the evening.
5. The Yankees left seven men on base and went 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position. Luckily, the long ball and dominant pitching helped them in this one, but they did have several opportunities to tack on more runs.
Jameson Taillon will take the bump for the Yankees at 1:10 p.m. on Sunday, as they wrap up their series against the Indians, who will return with rookie Triston McKenzie.