Model free agent’s ‘peak’ call, CYA confidant kisses 10 wins, rival ace injured again

Model free agent’s ‘peak’ call, CYA confidant kisses 10 wins, rival ace injured again

New York Yankees closer Gerrit Cole moved one step closer to his first career Cy Young Award.

Cole pitched seven innings of four-hit, two-run ball in a 7-2 win over the AL East rival Tampa Bay Rays on Wednesday at Yankee Stadium to improve to 10-0 on the season.

스포츠토토 The East’s “last place” Yankees used the ace to snap a three-game losing streak and improve to 55-52. They are 3.5 games back of the Toronto Blue Jays for the third AL wild card. Meanwhile, AL wild-card leader Tampa Bay saw its three-game winning streak come to an end, falling to 66-45 and 1.5 games behind the AL East-leading Baltimore Orioles.

Cole, who picked up a win in four games after a nine-run victory over the Chicago Cubs last month, has pitched 26 1/3 innings in the second half of the season, posting a 1.71 ERA, 34 strikeouts, a 0.85 WHIP and a .179 batting average. After a somewhat uneven first half, the reigning Cy Young Award winner is now looking much more like his former self.

Cole leads the AL in ERA and innings pitched. AFP
In 23 games this season, Cole has a record of 143⅓ innings pitched, a 10-2 record, a 2.64 ERA, 157 strikeouts, a 1.04 WHIP, and a .212 batting average. He ranked first in the AL in ERA and innings pitched, tied for fourth in wins, third in strikeouts, fifth in WHIP, and sixth in BABIP.

Cole, who made his big league debut with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2013, has never been among the league’s top pitchers. In 2019 with the Houston Astros, he won 20 games and led the league in ERA (2.50) and strikeouts (326) and looked like a favorite to win the award, but he finished second, just 12 points behind teammate Justin Verlander.

In his second season in a Yankees uniform, Cole, who signed a $324 million free agent contract on December 9, 2019, finished second in AL Cy Young Award voting in 2021, but finished with 16 wins, a 3. That year, Toronto left-hander Robbie Ray won the award in a landslide with 29 first-place votes, leading the league in four categories: ERA (2.84), strikeouts (248), innings pitched (193⅓), and WHIP (1.045).

In recent years, Cy Young Award voting has generally been based on ERA, innings pitched, strikeouts, wins, WHIP, and strikeouts per nine innings pitched. Cole has a clear advantage in ERA and innings pitched. In seven innings, Cole threw 91 pitches. He threw 33 fastballs, 20 sliders and cutters, 14 curves, and four changeups. His fastball topped out at 98.8 mph and averaged 96.9 mph.

Tampa Bay’s Shane McClanahan is examined after suffering an arm injury while pitching. AP
Tampa Bay’s starter against Cole was left-hander Shane McClellanahan, another Cy Young candidate. McClellanahan took the loss after giving up five runs on five hits, including two home runs, in four innings. He pitched hard with a fastball that touched 99.8 mph, but was pulled after the fourth inning due to tightness in his left arm. McClellanahan will return to Florida to be evaluated.

McClellanahan was a strong AL Cy Young candidate until mid-June. However, he went on the disabled list in early July with back pain and has struggled since returning in the second half. In his last four starts, he has a 7.11 ERA. McClanahan, 11-2, saw his season ERA jump to 3.29.

Cole walked leadoff hitter Yandy Diaz and gave up a two-run double to Wander Franco in the top of the first, but he then induced four groundouts and used his effective pitching to take advantage of two runners on base.

The Yankees bats came alive in the bottom of the third with a two-run double by Anthony Volpi and a three-run homer by Giancarlo Stanton to make it 5-2, then scored two runs in the seventh to tie the game.

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