Gerrit Cole’s season got off to a frustrating start on Friday, and that was before he threw a pitch.
But even after waiting for Billy Crystal to come off his hill, issuing a four-pitch walk to start the game and then giving up three runs in the first half, Cole settled down to give the Yankees a chance. to defeat the Red Sox 6-5in 11 rounds on opening day in the Bronx.
Not fully built due to his short spring training period, Cole threw only four rounds as he started his third straight opening day in striped lines, but he didn’t let a grueling first half sink the Yankees.
“It’s just hard to settle in,” Cole said. “Obviously the first four pitches weren’t really competitive. Then I got burnt in two excellent fastball positions in the first. They put some good swings on him. Luckily we were able to settle down after that and give us a chance to win.”
With the pomp and circumstance of opening day, and finishing off Crystal’s expulsion from the first ceremonial field, the match began four minutes later than originally scheduled. Cole was shown on camera visibly upset by the pre-match scene bleeding into his routine, seeming to shout, “Let’s go!” While standing on the highest rung of the bunker.
“It was an unexpected challenge,” Cole said. “The festivities are a little off schedule.
“It’s like you expect something and then don’t understand it.”
Cole eventually captured the hill and walked with Kick Hernandez over four pitches, then gave up two runs on his turf to Raphael Devers on a 99-mph fastball at the top of the area.
Xander Bogarts then pulled one song and came to score with a double spray in the opposite field by JD Martinez. That made it 3-0 for the Red Sox as Cole was booed before he scored, providing flashbacks to the last time he faced Boston in a wild card game at Fenway Park last October.
But Cole settled in from there, retiring 11 of the next 13 hits he faced to lead her to the fourth round in 68 pitches. Cole, who threw 64 shots at the last spring start, hit three, walked one and missed four hits.
“Obviously it’s a very difficult way to start your season,” coach Aaron Boone said. “But I think it’s the body of what we were today. He didn’t fold the tent. It could be not coming out of the first half [game], the way she was going, settled on it and started doing shows. I thought he did really well the rest of the way.”
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