Here are some key takeaways …
1. The star attraction in Wednesday night’s game was the matchup of Gerrit Cole vs. Shohei Ohtani, and Cole took the first two rounds decidedly, overpowering Ohtani with fastballs for a pair of strikeouts in each of their first two showdowns.
And Ohtani wasn’t the only one of Cole’s strikeout victims in the early innings. Cole fanned the side in the fourth, giving him eight punchouts through the first four innings. He struck out two more in the fifth inning, giving him 10 for the games. Cole’s ninth 10-strikeout performance of the year tied David Cone (1998) for most such games in a season by a Yankee.
2. The Angels finally got to Cole in the sixth as Jack Mayfield singled and David Fletcher doubled him home. Cole buckled in and struck out Ohtani for a third time before following up with strikeouts of Phil Gosselin and Jared Walsh to get out of the inning.
Cole’s night ended after seven innings, but he was simply electric. He allowed just one run on four hits while striking out a whopping 15 hitters without a walk. HIs 15-strikeout game was the ninth in Yankees history (including the postseason), and the first since Masahiro Tanaka in 2017. He also became just the third Yankee ever with 15 Ks and no walks, joining Tanaka and Michael Pineda (2015).
3. After a quiet first couple of innings, the Yankees struck first in the top of the third. A pair of walks sandwiched an Anthony Rizzo single to load the bases with two away. Luke Voit then delivered with a two-run single up the middle.
4. The Yankees added their third run of the game by playing a bit of small ball in the fourth. Rougned Odor dropped a bunt single to get things going, and after advancing to second on a groundout, he’d come around to score on a Brett Gardner single up the middle to make it a 3-0 game.
5. Aaron Judge padded the Yankees’ lead in the top of the eighth with his 30th home run of the season. This marks the second time in his career that Judge has hit 30 homers in a season, joining his 52-homer season in 2017.
The Yankees are off on Thursday before starting a weekend series with the Baltimore Orioles in the Bronx on Friday at 7:05 p.m.
Nestor Cortes Jr. will face John Means.