Gerrit Cole exits in third after getting shelled by Twins – The Mercury News

Gerrit Cole exits in third after getting shelled by Twins – The Mercury News

MINNEAPOLIS — It was another nightmare in Minnesota for Gerrit Cole. Last year, the Yankees ace had a meltdown in an interview when asked directly if he had ever used illegal sticky substances to pitch. Thursday night, he just got hammered.

The Twins hit him hard, crushing him for a career-high five home runs in just 2.1 innings of work. Cole allowed seven runs on eight hits. He walked two and struck out three and walked off the field with the Yankees losing 7-3 at Target Field.

It took only eight pitches for the Twins to get to Cole. Luis Arraez crushed a 2-2 changeup 396 feet to right center field. Byron Buxton jumped on the first pitch he saw, an 88-mile an hour slider for a 422-foot home run. Carlos Correa needed just two pitches, hammering a 0-1, 94-mile an hour cutter 413 feet for back-to-back-to-back home runs.

Cole had allowed three home runs before, six times previously in his career to be exact. He had never allowed three in one inning and no Yankee pitcher had ever given up home runs to the first three batters of the game.

Buxton and the Twins weren’t done.

Cole gave up a one-out single to Jose Miranda and then walked Arraez. Buxton turned on a 92-mile an hour cutter for his second home run of the night. Trevor Larnach hammered the fifth homer with one out in the third and then Gio Urshela hit a double in the right-center field gap that got to the wall.

That was it for Cole’s night, the second shortest start of the season for him. It was the seventh time in his career he had allowed seven earned runs, two shy of his career high.

He was not fooling the Twins with much Tuesday. He threw 70 pitches, 45 for strikes. He got nine swings-and-misses, four on his knuckle curve and three on his slider.

Last season, the trip to Target Field was a nightmare for Cole long before he got on the field. Then Twins third baseman Josh Donaldson had publicly called out Cole as one of the pitchers who was affected when MLB actually started cracking down on the illegal foreign substances on pitchers hands. Cole’s spin rate had dropped notably and the day before he started, Cole was asked point blank if he had used Spider Tack or any such substance. He gave a decidedly unconvincing non-answer that immediately went viral.

“Um, I don’t….I don’t know…..quite know how to answer that, to be honest,” Cole said after an awkward pause, when asked if he had ever used Spider Tack. “I mean there are customs and practices that have been passed down from older players, to younger players from the last generation of players, to this generation of players. And I think there are some things that are certainly out of bounds in that regard and I’ve stood pretty firm in terms of that, in terms of the communication between our peers and whatnot.

“Like I mentioned earlier,” Cole continued,” there’s, this is important to a lot of people that love the game and this is  including the players in this room, including fans, including  teams and so if MLB wants to legislate some more stuff, that’s a conversation that we can have, because, ultimately, we should all be pulling in the same direction on this.”


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