One week later, those 129 pitches he threw against the Astros don’t seem to have worn Gerrit Cole down.
Instead of being limited, Cole built off that dominant performance. Cole shut down the Red Sox over six impressive innings Saturday night as the Yankees snapped their season-long drought against their bitter rivals.
Cole struck out 11 and allowed just one run on five hits, and the Yankees’ injury-riddled offense did enough in a 3-1, rain-shortened six-inning victory at the Stadium.
“He leaned on a little bit of everything,” manager Aaron Boone said.
Cole, who hurled a complete-game shutout exactly a week earlier in Houston, has begun to shake off his issues in the wake of the sticky-substances drama. After pitching to a 4.65 ERA in June and getting hit around by the Mets in his first start of July, he has now allowed just one earned run over two brilliant starts against two of the better offensive teams in the American League.
He has fanned 23 and allowed just eight hits over his last 15 innings. He had his way Saturday with the two best Red Sox hitters, J.D. Martinez and Rafael Devers, striking them out a combined five times.
“I guess when we needed to, we made a good pitch,” he said. “It just so happened against the meat of the order.”
Despite his heavy workload in Houston the previous Saturday, Cole was dominant against the Red Sox, and he was ready (after 96 pitches) to pitch the seventh before the game was delayed by rain. Cole has now had six starts with double-digit strikeouts this year while allowing one run or fewer, the most ever by a Yankee in a single season.
“It’s pretty neat,” Cole said. “We got 13 more, 14 more starts to make, so I’ll think about it when the work’s done.”
The Red Sox scratched out a run on a Christian Arroyo single in the second inning, but that was all they got. Cole pitched around a single in the third and retired the side in order in the fourth and fifth. His biggest out was his last one, a bases-loaded strikeout of Christian Vazquez in which the Red Sox catcher went too far on a check swing.
“I thought it was a great win,” Cole said.