Gerrit Cole was historically dominant in his Opening Day start for the Yankees, striking out 11 over six innings to set the new franchise record for strikeouts in a season opening start.
Cole also didn’t allow a run in a 5-0 win for New York, in what was his fourth straight Opening Day start as a Yankee.
Evan acknowledges that Cole isn’t among the elite in baseball when it comes to starting pitchers, at least not anymore, but there is no pitcher in the league more reliable and consistent than the Yankee ace, which he proved again on Thursday afternoon.
“I’m not suggesting he’s the best pitcher in baseball,” Evan said. “What I would say is he is the most reliable pitcher in baseball.”
Cole received plenty of criticism after he was bombed in the 2021 American League Wild Card Game at Fenway Park, but last year’s playoff performance showed that he could show up when the lights shine the brightest, and his entire career has shown that he will take the ball every fifth day, which is especially critical for a Yankees rotation that is starting the season with three starters on the IL.
“What he showed you last year, even though it wasn’t a Cy Young year or a dominant year, is that you can rely on him to make 30-plus starts, and come playoff time, he’s not gonna shrink in the big moment,” Evan said. “Because for the most part, he pitched well in October.
“Gerrit Cole, he’s one of those guys that you can just put away, and you know he’s gonna be there. You can trust him.”
Evan’s declaration on Cole was getting no arguments from Craig, either.
“That dude shows up every five days,” Craig said. “And he pitches his ass off.”
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