Gerrit Cole came out shooting on Opening Day for the New York Yankees and set a new franchise record in the process.
Cole’s 11 strikeouts set the standard and is now the Opening Day record for most strikeouts by a Yankees starter, as he assisted in the team’s 5-0 win over the San Francisco Giants on Thursday afternoon in the bronx.
It was an inauspicious start for Cole after walking Giants leadoff hitter LaMonte Wade Jr. with four straight fastballs outside the strike zone.
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But once he found that first strike against Michael Conforto in the next at-bat, Cole was basically locked up.
Cole’s first seven outs in the ballgame were all strikeouts, as the Giants couldn’t reach his fastball, which he used a lot of in his outing.
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Cole threw 95 pitches, 56 of them strikes, while allowing two walks and three hits in six innings of work for his first win of the season.
This was a much better Opening Day outing for Cole compared to last season against the Boston Red Sox, against whom he allowed four runs in the first inning. However, the offense picked him up on that one, as Josh Donaldson would end up walking.
The offense was solid for New York in this contest as well, as Aaron Judge, coming off his historic 62-home run regular season in 2022, hit his first of the 2023 season on his first swing. The ball flew from Giants starter Logan Webb to center field, landing in Monument Park as the Yankee Stadium crowd erupted.
Gleyber Torres would add a two-run homer later to make it a 3-0 game, while DJ LeMahieu and Judge would record RBI singles in the bottom of the seventh to add some safety to the scoring.
Once Cole was out of the game, manager Aaron Boone had to be pleased with his bullpen shutting down the Giants as well. Wandy Peralta was the only one to allow a hit, while Jonathan Loaisiga and Ron Marinaccio didn’t allow any in their outing.
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As the World Series favorite once again, the Yankees are surely happy to get off on the right foot for the new season.