Houston, TX — A few days ago, Gerrit Cole was hooked up to an IV, New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone didn’t know what he was going to get out of his $324 million dollar ace pitcher Saturday night against the Houston Astros.
Boone didn’t even know if Cole would be able to make the start and even give him quality innings.
The Bombers kept it in house this past week while they were in Seattle taking two of three. Cole was so sick for a couple of days that he was getting fluids from an IV.
“You don’t want to know what I was going through,” Cole said. “It was gross.”
After two horrible starts in a row and a lot of pundits saying dominate without doctoring baseballs with the extra stuff, Cole just blocked out all the noise and pitched a epic game for an Yankees 1-0 victory. Not only did he start — he finished, throwing a three-hitter in nine innings.
“I said the f-word a lot and I kind of just blacked out,” Cole said about the mound visit. “I don’t really remember what I told him, to be honest.”
Aaron Judge hit a solo blast off Zack Greinke in the third inning and Cole did the rest for his fifth career complete game and third shutout. His only other nine-inning shutout was May 4, 2018 against the Diamondbacks.
Greinke lasted just four innings, allowing three hits and one run in his first loss since May 25, snapping a four-game winning streak. Baker pulled him early because of a sore right shoulder.
The AL West-leading Astros, who entered the series having been shut out just once all season, were held scoreless for a second straight game after losing 4-0 in the opener Friday night.
Astros manager Dusty Baker said Cole reminded him of a certain Hall of Famer as he closed it out.
“He reached back at the end,” Baker said. “That was like Tom Seaver. At the end, he ditched the rest of his pitches and relied on his fastball, the high fastball.”
Cole (9-4), who pitched for the Astros from 2018-2019, tied a season low in hits and struck out 12. His 129 pitches are the most in the majors this season, surpassing Trevor Bauer’s 126, and the most since Oakland’s Mike Fiers needed 131 in his no-hitter against Cincinnati on May 7, 2019.
Jose Altuve singled to start the ninth for Houston, and Michael Brantley battled through a 10-pitch at-bat before flying out. Yuli Gurriel struck out on what he thought was a checked swing, and it came down to Cole and Alvarez. This time Cole came out this one with the W.
Yankees: Boone said LHP Zack Britton (left hamstring strain) is expected to be activated on Thursday after being out since June 26. INF/OF Miguel Andújar was placed on the 10-day injured list, retroactive to Wednesday, with a strained left wrist. … RHP Jonathan Loaisiga was added to the injured list due to health and safety protocols. RHP Albert Abreu and RHP Booke Kriske were recalled from Triple-A Scranton-Wilkes-Barre to take Andújar and Loaisiga’s spots on the roster.
Astros: Baker said SS Carlos Correa, who was placed on the injured list due to health and safety protocols on Friday, was still ill on Saturday. “He’s not good,” Baker said. “He’s sick.” Baker said he didn’t have any other details about his illness but said that he was resting at home. 3B Alex Bregman (strained left quadriceps) took batting practice on the field Saturday and should be ready for a rehabilitation assignment next week.
New York RHP Jameson Taillon (4-4, 5.05 ERA) will oppose LHP Framber Valdez (5-1, 2.86) when the Yankees look to complete the sweep Sunday.