NEW YORK September 20, 2021
The New York Yankees were thoroughly outclassed by Cleveland Indians in less than 24 hours after a dominant shutout win, ceding 11 runs to the 24th-best offense in baseball. With this loss, they are now behind the Red Sox and Blue Jays in the Wild Card standings, as both division rivals won on Saturday. New York now sits half a game behind.
Gerrit Cole stumbled when the New York Yankees needed an ace-like outing, allowing seven runs over 5 2/3 innings in a costly 11-1 defeat to the Cleveland Indians on Sunday.
Harold Ramírez hit a pair of two-run singles and drove in a career-high four runs before leaving as a precaution with a right shoulder injury. Ramírez banged into the right-field wall in the third inning on Gio Urshela that hit the top of the fence and bounced over for a home run. José Ramírez hit his 35th homer, had four hits, and reached five times for Cleveland, which scored double-digit runs for the third time in four games.
It was the third time since 2016 that New York allowed double-digit runs in consecutive games.
Cole (15-8) matched his 2021 high for earned runs, and gave up ten hits for the first time since June 30, 2017, with Pittsburgh. Cleveland went 5 for 11 against his four-seam fastball, his ERA rose to 3.03, and the Yankees dropped to 15-13 in his starts this year.
Cole was making his second start since cutting short an appearance because of a tight hamstring. He hit Bradley Zimmer near a knee with a 0-2 pitch leading off. He gave up two-run hits to Harold Ramirez on soft contact, an opposite-field single down the first-base line in the first, and a bloop that fell between center field Aaron Judge and left fielder Brett Gardner in a three-run third.
“The first four runs are all on soft contact,” Boone said. “I thought he was throwing the ball well there, and then you’re obviously up against it and down a little bit, and he gave up a couple of home runs, but certainly his line’s not indicative of how he threw the ball. So, yeah, frustrating.”
Cole is to pitch Friday in Boston and the following Wednesday in Toronto, setting him up to pitch in the regular-season finale against Tampa Bay or a wild card game.
New York is grounded into two more double plays and, with 143 is second in the major leagues, one behind Washington. The Yankees made two more errors, and are fourth in the big leagues with 94.
Roberto Pérez added an RBI single, and Cole crouched and hung his head in frustration — and homered.
Yu Cheng contributed an RBI single in the seventh after third baseman DJ Le Mahieu allowed Myles Straw’s grounder to go under his glove. Cleveland scored its final run when first baseman Anthony Rizzo fumbled a grounder by Ernie Clement for an error.
Cleveland rookie Eli Morgan (3-7) allowed one run and six hits in six innings.
“This was a good day. I get to enjoy it tonight,” Morgan said.
Corey Kluber was the prominent performer for the Yankees in their 8-0 victory over Cleveland Indians a day earlier. Kluber, though, lost a bit of the speed, but still pitched like the mound, and the game belonged to him in the Yankees’ victory.