Yankees: Gerrit Cole is hell-bent on winning a Cy Young award


Remember when Gerrit Cole led the American League in home runs allowed for a period of time in 2020? That was the New York Yankees‘ $324 million investment, and he was among the most prone to the long ball?

It couldn’t be true. Nope. We won’t believe it.

The right-hander picked things back up last year and eventually finished fourth in the Cy Young voting, but couldn’t get the Yankees a win in a decisive ALDS Game 5 against the Tampa Bay Rays.

That seemingly set the tone for 2021. Cole is locked in. He’s seeing red. After Opening Day, he’s yet to let up. He’s on a mission.

In the team’s 10-0 win over the Detroit Tigers, Cole made Yankees history with another double-digit strikeout performance. The Yankees scored so many runs he simply didn’t need to keep pitching.

Six scoreless innings. Four hits. Zero walks. Twelve strikeouts. All on 87 pitches. Yeah, let the bullpen do the rest. Save that arm.


Cole led the league in FIP (0.72) coming into this one, and it’s safe to say he’ll be holding onto that after his fourth win of the year. His fastball command is unbelievable. His other three pitches are buckling hitters’ knees. He’s taking on the role of a workhorse that the Yankees have so desperately needed, especially with so many other question marks in the rotation.

But most importantly, Cole is getting his teammates amped before each of his starts. The offense has put up 26 runs in his first six starts (though that’s a little inflated after Friday night) and Aaron Judge confirmed after the game that Cole leading by example with his preparedness and energy, which get the rest of the guys locked in.

What does that tell us? Aside from standing atop the baseball world when all is said and done, Cole is hell-bent on winning a Cy Young, something he hasn’t done in his first eight MLB seasons. He finished fourth in 2015, fifth in 2018 and second in 2019, but those last two years he played second fiddle to Justin Verlander.

Not anymore. He’s the lone wolf on the most renowned franchise in sports. The spotlight is beaming and he’s all business. His body language and demeanor suggest nothing else. He’s going out there, he’s getting the win, he’s putting the team on his back. That’s what 4-1 with a 1.43 ERA tells you.

This is why the Yankees tried to draft him out of high school. This is why they tried to trade for him before the 2018 season. This is why they made him the highest-paid pitcher in MLB history.

And hopefully he can bring the franchise its first Cy Young award in 20 years.