MEMORY POLICE – Gerrit Cole stuck it to Josh Donaldson and the twins.
After Twin’s third baseman took on the Yankees ace in baseball’s latest looming scandal, strongly suggesting the right-hander used illegal foreign substances to increase his spin speed, Cole Donaldson whipped in each of his first two at-bats.
It was the most interesting part of another skewed victory for the Yankees over the unfortunate 9-6 twins.
“I mean he’s a former MVP and a big cog in the lineup, ” Cole said of getting the best out of Donaldson. “Just the satisfaction of performing lanes on that spot and putting the team in a better position to win was enough.”
Cole was strong another steamy night at Target Field and overwhelming not only Donaldson, but much of the Twins lineup – even though his spin rate was down again, according to Baseball Savant.
The spinning speed of his four-seater was down (from an average of 2,552 revolutions per minute to 2,493). And it fell more with his shooter (2,708 average to 2,621 on Wednesday) while they were up on his knuckle curve and – most importantly – his change (which went from an average of 1,745 RPM to 1,870).
In his earlier start – the one that Donaldson referred to – the depths were even more drastic and consistent. As for the differences, only Cole knows for sure.
On Wednesday, he refused to comment on whether he was using anything more or less than in previous starts, saying it was not the right forum.
When asked if he thought the excursion would calm the problem, Aaron Boone said, “Look, who knows? The only thing I know is that he is a great pitcher and a huge competitor. When all this dust settles and wherever the story goes, it does not change. I thought his efforts, with all the distractions, went out there and showed you who he was. ”
And it’s at the heart of the current controversy among hitters, pitchers and Major League Baseball.
The league is set to crack down on pitchers’ use of foreign substances, and Donaldson singled out Cole for his recent reduced spin rate in the wake of suspensions in minor leagues and the impending breakdown in majors.
“I can not regret it,” Donaldson said before the game with his previous comments about Cole. I say this: Gerrit Cole was the first guy to throw since the suspensions happened, and he was the first guy we could see spin rates go down. Since Gerrit pitched, there have already been 12 or more guys whose spin prices have dropped drastically in the last week. So it’s not just Gerrit. ”
However, Cole probably does not need anything extra to beat Minnesota basement residents, so the impact of the changes in enforcement is still unknown.
Cole allowed two solo homers, but that did not matter on Wednesday as the Yankees knocked around Randy Dobnak in the eight run in 4 ² / ₃ innings.
Giancarlo Stanton escaped his recent funk with two home runs and a double off Dobnak in the first five innings. Aaron Judge also met and doubled versus Dobnak, and Miguel Andujar met for the fifth time in his last eight matches.
There was boos from the polite Minnesota crowd when Cole’s name was announced before the game, but not much during the game itself.
Cole put Donaldson away with a 1-2 knot curve after Donaldson waved with a 100 mph fours.
Cole appeared to stare down at Donaldson after the strike.
The result was the same in the third when Cole got Donaldson to swing again. In the sixth, Donaldson flew out.
Cole allowed two runs while knocking out nine and going none in the 94-pitch excursion.
“That’s what an ace does,” Aaron Judge said. “Nothing really phases that guy.”
It was Cole’s highest strike in total when he whipped a dozen strikers in eight shutout innings against the rays on May 12th.
The Yankees had played well in the hand until Brooks Kriske gave up four runs in the ninth, forcing Aroldis Chapman to rise in the bullpen before Kriske finished it.