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Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Gerrit Cole loses focus after poor call as Yankees fall to Rays, 3-1: ‘That was a strike’

scheduled tribe. Petersburg – An hour later, Gerrit Cole was still sure he was right, but it didn’t really matter. Ji-Man Choi’s pitch was called a ball and Cole lost it. The Yankees ace could not keep the sixth inning away, and the Yankees suffered a 3–1 loss to the Rays at Tropicana Field.

The Yankees (33–14) lost to the Rays (27–19) for the first time in five games and for the first time this season. They had already guaranteed at least one split of this four-game series, still in possession of the best records in baseball and a 5.5-game lead over the Rays in the American League East.

“No,” said Cole when asked if he had any doubts in his mind as he knocked out Choi in sixth. “I mean, I’d watch it anyway but yeah that was a strike.”

With two outs, he thought he had Choi on the 89-mph slider, instead home plate umpire Edwin Moscoso called it a ball and Cole drove it. This right-hander looked upset at the mound and said, “You missed it. You missed it,” to Moscoso.

After the game, Cole brushed it off, saying it didn’t affect him. But then he swung Vander Franco on four straight pitches and planted two.

“We knew we had two right-handers, so if the chips didn’t fall quickly with Franco we were supposed to [attack] Right hand,” Cole explained.

Instead, a short fly ball from Randy Arozerena was brought onto the glove of shortstop Isiah Kiner-Falefa to tie Choi.

The Rays got lucky in seventh when Francisco Mejia’s high pop up from Lucas Luetge managed to fall between Joy Gallo and Gleber Torres in right field. Anthony Rizzo saved a run when he charged Harold Ramirez’s groundball and threw home Kevin Kirmyer. Mejia, however, scored a two out high chopper off Yandy Diaz from Michael King at third base, DJ Lemahieu did not have time to throw and Rez took a 2–1 lead.

Franco tripled King in the eighth and scored on a Manuel Margot single for the insurance run.

It took 26 pitches for Cole to get through the first, but he shifted into gear and cruised up to that Choi at-bat.

“We thought he had him,” said Yankees manager Aaron Boone. “Actually, I didn’t even look back but we thought he was there. call did not come and then [Cole] Makes a good pitch for Arozrena and it’s just one out there, but I thought Gerritt was great today. ,

Cole went in six innings and allowed one run on two hits. He scored 10 runs in his third double-digit strikeout game of the season and finished second in a row, but also scored three. Cole had not run a batsman in his last two starts and the Yankees’ start scored four runs in his last 10 starts.

The Yankees ace had everything that worked for him in the first five innings. He had 20 swing-and-misses, 10 on his slider and seven on his fastball. He took a no-hitter in the fifth innings.

But he didn’t get much help.

LeMahieu, back in the lineup for the first time since Monday due to a pain in his left wrist, jumped for a long double over former Yankee Corey Kluber to lead the game. Aaron Judge singles out and Rizzo brings Lemahieu home on a sacrificial fly. Judge caught trying to tag Torres’ fly ball on a double play to the right.

That was all Kluber, who was the Yankees last season, would allow.

“Yeah, he pitched well. He just settled in there for a while and was throwing the ball really well, not giving us much to hit,” Lemahieu said. “So I wish we could have gone more against him, You know, forced to throw the ball a little bit more at the plate, but he made good pitches.”

The Yankees had a chance in eighth place when Margot dropped a two-out fly ball from Kiner-Falefa to put a tying run on base. Boone called back catcher Jose Trevino and pinched switch hitter Aaron Hicks with left hand against right-hander Jason Adams. Hicks, who was out of the lineup in the first two games with a right hamstring tightness, was ruled out.

“Adam is still a tough at-bat for a Wright,” Boone said. “Just trying to move the line as much as I could, it was a debate there but I thought Hicks could hold one or at least control the field on him. So, yeah, It was a tough call.”


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