Yankees: Is it time to worry about Gerrit Cole giving up too many home runs?
Yankees Gerrit Cole has given up a home run in each of his seven starts this season.
The New York Yankees are a mess right now and fans figured ace Gerrit Cole would be their savior during these tough times. But the right-hander has been unable to lift the Yankees to victory in each of his last two outings, in which he’s allowed six earned runs on five homers.
That’s a big problem. The Bombers are decimated by injuries and the lineup is struggling due to a lack of continuity and the fact manager Aaron Boone is forced to start backups for the next few weeks.
Is it time to worry about the amount of home runs Cole is surrendering? Simply put, the Yankees cannot afford this kind of lapse in play from their undisputed best starter. The team cannot afford to lose games in which he takes the mound, and they’ve already lost two of those seven — and he’s allowed one homer or more in each of those outings.
Rip the lineup all you want — it’s justified. If we’re going to gush about the Yankees’ depth and how good it is, maybe they shouldn’t get one-hit by a kid making his MLB debut (though props to Ian Anderson, who looked absolutely filthy out there). The team’s had five days off and plenty of time to regroup. To score just 11 runs in your last four games is unacceptable.
But Cole has to at least give them a shot. The Yankees were down 4-0 in the third inning and already seemed as if they were dead in the water. Cole’s 28-game undefeated streak ended on Wednesday and his ERA ballooned to 3.51.
Look, we know Cole gives up homers. That was no secret before the Yankees signed him to a $324 million deal. Since 2017, he’s allowed 1.3 home runs per nine innings, which is average for MLB pitchers. Cole is not an average MLB pitcher.
The big storyline was Cole not yet losing a game as a Yankee, but he allowed three runs against the Orioles in 6.2 innings of work (he got nine runs of support in that one) and then three earned runs in just 4.2 innings in his first outing against the Rays (he got eight runs of support). If he’s not getting insane run support like that, does he lose those? Maybe.
But the fact of the matter is that Gerrit Cole is an ace and in a 60-game spring there’s just hardly any room for error — and we’d call 10 home runs allowed in seven starts a pretty big error. We really don’t want to be discussing this at the moment, but after today’s embarrassment on all fronts, Cole’s penchant for allowing homers is too glaring to overlook.