Sunday, April 25, 2021

Face the Music: King Cole Beats Bieber

The 3rd game of this 4-game series between the Yankees and the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field was billed as a great pitching tool between Gerrit Cole and Shane Bieber. And it lived up to that description: The game was scoreless going to the bottom of the 4th.

That was when the Indians struck first. With 1 out, Jose Ramirez hit a triple, and Eddie Rosario singled him home. Cole struck Franmil Reyes and Josh Naylor out to get out of it, but, given the opposing pitcher and the Yankees' hitting so far this season, that 1-0 deficit may as well have been 5-0.

But the Yankees managed to back "King" Cole up, and face the music, straighten up and fly right. Aaron Hicks decided to treat Shane Bieber as if he was Justin Bieber, and hit a long home run to tie the game. Bieber then struck Clint Frazier and Kyle Higashioka out, but Rougned Odor again justified his recent acquisition with a home run of his own. It was 2-1 Yankees.

That was all Cole needed, as he breezed through the 5th, the 6th and the 7th. Brian Cashman and Aaron Boone let him keep going because both Aroldis Chapman and Chad Green were unavailable for relief duty, since each had pitched 2 nights in a row.

Justin Wilson got into a little bit of trouble in the 8th, and Jonathan Loaisiga was needed for a 4-out save. Yankees 2, Indians 1. WP: Cole (3-1). SV: Loaisiga (1). LP: Bieber (2-2).

That's 3 in a row for the Yankees, for the 1st time all season. With the Boston Red Sox losing, the Yankees are now just 3 games behind them in the American League Eastern Division, 2 in the all-important loss column. We may have fully shaken off that horrible start to the season.

The series with the Indians concludes this afternoon, as the Yankees go for the sweep. Jameson Taillon pitches for us, Triston McKenzie for them.

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