Gerrit Cole ties Ron Guidry’s all-time Yankees strikeout record in 8-3 win over Blue Jays on historic night
TORONTO — On the night Aaron Judge tied an iconic American League and Yankee record, Gerrit Cole had his own moment.
While largely overshadowed by Judge tying Roger Maris’ record of 61 home runs in a single-season, Cole tied Ron Guidry’s single-season Yankee record of 248 strikeouts in the fifth inning of Wednesday night’s game.
“I think it’s more special because of what Aaron did tonight to be honest,” Cole said, referring to Judge’s big night. “It’s a really, obviously a really special number. Guidry was so good for us and so magical and his record held for so long. I don’t think you’ll ever dream of it, but just to be mentioned in the same categories. The Yankees’ legends, it’s kind of hard for me to wrap my head around at this point.”
Still, the Yankees needed Judge’s two-run shot in the top of the seventh to get back ahead of the Blue Jays after Cole coughed up a three-run lead in the bottom of the sixth. The Bombers went on to win 8-3 at the Rogers Centre. With just one more start before the playoffs, however, Cole raised more questions about his ability to handle adversity on the mound.
He was working on a perfect game at that point and gave up a solo shot to lead off the sixth to catcher Danny Jansen. He gave up a single to Whit Merrifield and walked No. 9 hitter Jackie Bradley Jr. Cole then obviously balked to put them both in scoring position. Bo Bichette singled with one out to bring in Merrifield and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. flew out to left field to bring in Bradley to tie the game.
The Jansen homer was the 32nd, career-high homer that Cole has allowed this season. While the one-run homer with a three-run lead isn’t counted among the 19 home runs given up that have broken a tie game, tied a game or cost the Yankees a lead, this one clearly rattled Cole and led to his unraveling.
Cole allowed three runs on three hits. He walked one and struck out four over 6.1 innings pitched.
Cole tied Guidry’s 1978 franchise mark on a knuckle curveball that Raimel Tapia swung over. The Yankees’ ace now has the single-season strikeout record for two franchises with his 326 punchouts in 2019 for the Astros. He is just one of five big league pitchers to do that, joining Pedro Martinez (313 with the Red Sox in 1999 and 305 with the Expos in 1997), Randy Johnson (372 with the Diamondbacks In 2001 and 308 and with the Mariners in 1993), Nolan Ryan (301 with the Rangers in 1989 and 383 with the Angels in 1973) and Rube Waddell (232 with the St. Louis Browns in 1908 and 349 with the Philadelphia Athletics in 1904).
As the world was waiting for Judge to tie Maris, he got his fifth straight walk to lead off the game. Judge, who walked in his last four at-bats of the Tuesday night win, got ahead 2-0 on Mitch White before the Blue Jays righty battled back to 2-2. Then, White nibbled low and walked Judge on six pitches. Judge ended up scoring the first of three runs in the first. He came around on Josh Donaldson’s single. Oswald Peraza singled in fellow rookie Oswaldo Cabrera, who had walked behind Judge and Donaldson scored on Marwin Gonzalez’s sacrifice fly.
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