Home News Yankees’ Gerrit Cole brings heat in in battle vs. Justin Verlander

Yankees’ Gerrit Cole brings heat in in battle vs. Justin Verlander

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In the end, Gerrit Cole was not perfect. But after excellence came resiliency.

Cole flirted with perfection, lost it, then settled for mere domination in the Yankees’ 4-3, 10-inning loss to the Mets at Citi Field on Wednesday night.

Cole matched zeroes and, eventually, ones with Justin Verlander, a future Hall of Famer and his former Astros teammate.

“It’s a pleasure to deal with that caliber type of player,” Cole said after allowing one run on four hits with eight strikeouts in six innings. “As far as the atmosphere tonight, it was electric, playoff-type.

“Just fun, back-and-forth, crowd into it. It was just a great game to be part of.”

Cole went toe to toe with Verlander. They both blinked, but just once.

The Yankees’ ace retired the first 12 Mets he saw with a steady dosage of four-seamers, sliders and little else.

Gerrit Cole held the Mets to one run in six innings in the Yankees’ 4-3 loss in 10 innings.
Charles Wenzelberg / New York Post

Cole did not throw a third pitch until his last delivery of the fourth, when his knuckle-curve struck out Jeff McNeil.

Cole was filthy and occasionally played with his victims.

In the second inning, he used escalating heat — 95.9 mph, 96.7 mph and finally 98.1 mph — to blow away rookie catcher Francisco Alvarez on three pitches.

“Fastball just came out good,” said Cole, who induced 11 swings and misses on 37 swings against his four-seamer. “Stuck with it.”

But when the Mets finally touched Cole, they did damage.

Francisco Lindor led off the bottom of the fifth inning with a double off the wall in right-center, the first Met to reach base.

Alvarez followed with a deep fly out that moved Alvarez to third.

Cole struck out Brett Baty with some high heat, but he lost a battle with Tommy Pham.

The Mets’ hot left fielder drilled an RBI double that one-hopped the wall in right field and gave the Mets the first run of the game.

The Yankees answered with a tying run in the top of the sixth, and Cole kept the Mets from taking a second lead — barely.

Cole allowed sixth-inning singles to Mark Vientos and Brandon Nimmo before reaching back and buzzing a 99.2 mph fastball past Starling Marte. Cole then retired McNeil and Lindor to escape, but his pitch count was up to 95.

“I could have sent him out for a hitter or two [in the seventh],” said manager Aaron Boone, who instead went to Jimmy Cordero and Ron Marinaccio, who combined to allow two runs. “But no, he had to work pretty hard there in the fifth and the sixth.”

After a brilliant April and subpar May, Cole has bounced back in June and allowed fewer than three runs for a third straight start.

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