New York Yankees, Tampa Bay Rays

Yankees ace Gerrit Cole lets small missed blow up a great start

New York Yankees pitcher Gerrit Cole let one missed call by the umpire throw him out of his groove and eventually cost his team a win.

Any series between the New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays has great importance to it. The Yankees are the consistent powerhouse of the American League while the Rays are the pesky spoiler that seems to always serve them some punishment.

With Gerrit Cole on the mound Saturday, the Yankees were hoping to take game two of their weekend series in Tampa Bay. With a 1-0 lead at the time, Cole let one missed call by the umpire change the entire direction of the game.

The borderline pitch to Ji-Man Choi could have gone either way. While it appears to have been a strike, Cole made the mistake of letting the umpire’s error cost him.

Yankees pitcher Gerrit Cole needs to be better than this

Proceeding the walk to Choi, Cole then issued four straight balls to Wander Franco. All with two outs, Randy Arozarena came to the plate next and singled in Choi. The 1-0 lead for the Yankees had evaporated. Aaron Boone then went to the bullpen.

Unfortunately, the stellar Bronx bullpen wasn’t at its best on this day. Michael King gave up an RBI single in the bottom of the seventh and another in the bottom of the eighth. Down 3-1, the Yankees went away quietly.

Cole has been quite masterful for the Yankees since joining them in 2020. It’s a little understated just how good he has been because of all of the distractions around him. After Saturday’s no-decision, he is now 27-12 with a 3.12 ERA for the Yankees. This year, at 4-1 with a 3.12 ERA, he’s helping to lead a team with quite possibly the best rotation in the game.

Moments like this, however, give fans reason to doubt him in a big situation. The far better tactic would have been for Cole to move on. Jawing at an umpire won’t guilt anyone into giving you better calls. In fact, pitchers should expect the opposite.

Cole’s needs to learn from a moment like this. He had the Rays by the horns and undoubtedly allowed his one pitch to get to him. In doing so. The game slipped away, too.

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